It has been a pleasure to watch you play in Baltimore for the past 11 seasons. You’ve made us jump up off our couches or out of our purple seats at M&T Bank Stadium in elation more times than we can count – and in anger a few times as well.
We spent way too much time arguing with silly Steeler fans about who was better, you or your friend and rival, Troy Polamalu. Until now, Troy had what you did not – a Super Bowl ring. Now that you’ve got that, those rag-wavers don’t have a leg to stand on. You’re unquestionably the greatest safety of your time, and arguably one of the best ever…certainly unmatched with the ball in your hands, which was a far too frequent occurrence for the tastes of opposing offenses.
You took the field with one of the greatest defensive players of all time as a teammate, and all that you did was force your own name into that conversation through your own stellar play and film study.
You managed to play through serious injuries and the prospect of losing your ability to walk every time you set foot on the turf.
There is no reason to put yourself at risk like that any more.
You’ve finally reached the top of the mountain in your sport.
Rather than playing for another team – one whose fan base has heckled and derided you for years, even while admiring your skills from afar – we ask that you retire as a member of the only team you have ever known, the Baltimore Ravens.
We’ll be forever grateful for your time in the Charm City.
And, in just over five years’ time, you’ll very likely find yourself standing next to #52 once more…as you both walk into Canton.
On that day, we promise to once again form a sea of purple for you to look out upon.
Hopefully you’ll give us “Two Tickets to Paradise” one last time.