Jamal Lewis (born August 29, 1979 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American football player who plays running back for the Baltimore Ravens. He attended the University of Tennessee and wears #31. Lewis was the #5 pick overall in the 2000 NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens and in his rookie season, rushed for over 1,000 yards, supplanting Priest Holmes as the team's starting RB. The Ravens' running game and punishing defense earned them their first World Championship when they defeated the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Lewis rushed for 103 yards and scored a touchdown in the game, becoming only the second rookie ever to rush for over 100 yards in a Super Bowl.
In 2003, Lewis nearly set a new NFL single-season rushing record by rushing for 2,066 yards, leading the league. He finished second all-time, to Eric Dickerson, and joined Dickerson, Terrell Davis, Barry Sanders, and O.J. Simpson as the only backs in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season. During that season, Lewis also broke the single game rushing record by running for 295 yards against the Cleveland Browns. (Note: Lewis would have surpassed 300 yards rushing had it not been for a holding penalty that both set him back 12 yards and repealed a touchdown.) Lewis was rewarded by being named NFL Offensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.
Lewis is a native of Atlanta and lives there in the off-season.
After the 2005 season, the Ravens declined to franchise Lewis, making him an unrestricted free agent after the end of the season. This move was seen as a formality in letting Lewis head to another team. The reason for not franchising Lewis was that his play had declined over ever since his 2000 yard 2003 season. He also voiced displeasure during the 2005 season over not having a longterm deal.
Despite that, the Ravens went ahead and resigned Lewis on Monday, March 13, 2006 with a three-year deal, even after the Ravens also signed former Denver Broncos Running Back Mike Anderson, who was widely thought to be Lewis' replacement.