Alex Lewis decides to call it a career
G Alex Lewis has decided to retire, per source. Was eliminated from playing for any team in 2021 last week when #Jets placed him on reserve/left squad list. In theory, could try comeback in ‘22, but it remains to be seen whether he has any desire to play again, source said.
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) August 18, 2021
Lewis’ retirement comes after a tumultuous past year with the Jets. He spent time on the non-injury list late in the 2020 season for an off-the-field issue.
On Aug. 5 of this year, Lewis suffered a head injury during a training camp practice. He would leave the team shortly after. The Jets would then place Lewis on the reserve/left squad list, which prohibited him from playing for any other team.
When asked directly about Lewis’ situation earlier this month, head coach Robert Saleh said, “He’s going through some things which are much greater than football right now … We’re just giving him a chance to kind of sort through it all.”
There is a possibility Lewis can return to football in 2022, but it remains to be seen if he has the desire to do so.
Lewis was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He would appear in 20 contests for Baltimore, starting 18 of those.
Alex Lewis: One of Joe Douglas’ first moves as Jets general manager
After starting the 2019 season on the PUP list, the Ravens would trade Lewis to the Jets in August for a 2020 seventh-round selection (225th overall), marking one of Joe Douglas‘ first moves as the Jets’ general manager. Lewis would play in 24 contests for the green and white, starting 21 of them.
Lewis played well enough in his inaugural season with the Jets (2019) to earn a three-year, $18.6 million contract extension from Douglas. He played in 15 games that year, starting 12.
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Following a rocky 2020 season, Lewis agreed to take a pay cut early in 2021, reducing his base salary from $5.8 million to $3 million. The restructured deal would also allow Lewis to become a free agent after the season.
While Lewis generally blocked at a below-average level, he had a unique mean streak in his game—something many perceive as a crucial trait on the offensive line. It is clear that Douglas and the Jets took a liking to Lewis’ tenacity on the field.
The Jets selected Alijah Vera-Tucker in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft to replace Lewis at left guard. Lewis had been competing with Dan Feeney for the backup left guard role prior to his injury.