Late For Work 2/6: Steve Smith's Amazing Retirement Idea For Tom Brady And Bill Belichick

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Steve Smith's Amazing Retirement Idea For Tom Brady And Bill Belichick

Okay, okay.

We get it, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Even the most ardent Ravens fans have to admit it after last night. You're … cough the greatest of all time cough.

It'd be tough to argue otherwise after being down 28-3 to the Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter, only to lead the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history for an overtime, 34-28, win.

Brady surpassed Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw to win his fifth (fifth!) Lombardi Trophy, the most of any quarterback in NFL history. His four Super Bowl MVPs are the most of any player. It's also Belichick's fifth championship victory, the most of any head coach.

We don't like you, but there's respect for what you did.

Now that we've admitted it, if you would be so kind as to grant Ronnie Stanley and the rest of the Ravens Flock the following request, we would greatly appreciate it.

Actually, let's step this up a notch.

It's not just Brady who should ride off into the sunset on top. His coach should seriously consider joining him.

"They have to retire together," retired Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. said on the NFL Network.            

I know what Patriots fans are thinking. Baltimore just wants the duo out of the NFL so they stop hogging all the championship hardware. But it isn't a purely selfish idea. Smith's proposal is 100 percent altruistic.

"If Bill goes first, and Tom doesn't win anything or perform well, then all of a sudden, it was Bill Belichick [who deserves credit for winning]," Smith explained. "And if Tom retires before Bill, and [Bill] doesn't have success, it's going to be because of Tom [not being there].

"So you know what, for these two guys, the only thing that I can think of that could really put it together is – without vanilla ice cream, you don't have a great root beer float. And without root beer, you don't have it. Those two are a root beer float. You've got to have those two together."

See! Brady and Belichick need to retire together to protect their own legacies.

Alas, even if Smith's proposal were to eventually come to fruition, it doesn't look like it will happen any time soon.

The Patriots will look to extend Brady's contract next offseason, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning. The organization believes Brady, 39, can play another three to five years, which is a "clear indication they believe his proclamation to play into his 40s," wrote Rapoport.

Greeaaaat.

I guess that means quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens will have to get back to beating New England to reach their goals. It didn't happen this year, but it's been done before and can be done again.

Were Ravens REALLY Ready To Trade Entire 2008 Draft For Matt Ryan?

We already know the Ravens were in trade discussions to move up in the 2008 NFL Draft to select Matt Ryan. Owner Steve Bisciotti pushed for it in order to get out of the "quarterback desert."

We know GM Ozzie Newsome made calls, but the deals offered were too rich for the Ravens' blood, especially when there was still a quarterback on the board that they loved (Flacco).

But, we don't know exactly which picks were on the table … until now?

"The Ravens offered their entire draft for the rights to pick Ryan, sources said, going from No. 8 to No. 2," Rapoport reported over the weekend. "The trade nearly happened, but the Rams asked for more. They also wanted Baltimore's second-round pick from 2009 to clinch the deal. At that point, cooler heads prevailed, and there was no deal."

Holy moly. The entire draft?

When the report surfaced over the weekend, there were plenty of incredulous people in Baltimore because it doesn't sound like Ozzie. He doesn't seem the type to mortgage an entire draft for one player.

We do know the Ravens considered parting ways with substantial draft assets. Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta told Sr. Vice President of Public Relations Kevin Byrne in 2014 that they knew it would take "almost all of our picks for that year" to move from No. 8 to one of the top three picks. They made some calls to test the waters.

They talked with the Rams (No. 2) about a possible deal to leapfrog the Falcons (No. 3), but Newsome recalled: "I'm not sure St. Louis was really willing to make a trade, and they asked for way too much."

So, who knows? Maybe Ravens brass was willing to give up the rest of the 2008 draft class. The Ravens are unlikely to confirm what they actually offered.

"But think about how things would've been different," wrote Rapoport. "Neither Flacco, nor Ray Rice (the team's second-round selection in 2008) would have been Ravens. Nor would Paul Kruger, their second-rounder in 2009. Who would be the Falcons quarterback? Would the Ravens have one Super Bowl title like they have or more? Or fewer?"

Ray Lewis Gave Super Bowl Pre-Game Speeches … In A Garage

We all know Ray Lewis loves to give pre-game speeches, and he's one of the best at delivering them.

He took it to a whole new level, however, this weekend.

The legendary linebacker came up with motivational messages he would deliver to both the Falcons and Patriots if he were in their locker rooms before the game.

But he wasn't in their locker rooms, so it he recorded them in a garage with nobody around, which confused many onlookers. It's kind of incredible how passionate Lewis can get even in this environment.

Because the posts were published in separate tweets by the NFL, it added more confusion for those who saw them independently. Why would Lewis give a motivational speech to a rival like the Patriots, especially after he predicted the Falcons would win? He explained.

Lewis Is Up Next For Hall Of Fame Eligibility – Here's A Dream Scenario

The 2017 Hall of Fame class has officially been selected.

The NFL announced its seven-man class Saturday night, and it included running back LaDainian Tomlinson, quarterback Kurt Warner, running back Terrell Davis, safety Kenny Easley, defensive end Jason Taylor, kicker Morten Andersen and Owner Jerry Jones.

With the newly inducted class in the books, we can look forward to the 2018 class, which will likely include the second Raven in franchise history.

Lewis is expected to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and he's already hoping to combine an induction with a Super Bowl LII (matching his 52 jersey number) victory for the Ravens.

That would be kiiiiind of amazing. But you know what would make that dream scenario even better?

Quick Hits

Packers receiver Jordy Nelson receives NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Ravens Dennis Pitta received two votes, per @greggrosenthal. — Brian Bower (@sportguyRSR) February 5, 2017

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