Baltimore Ravens veteran safety Anthony Levine Sr. announced his retirement via the team’s Twitter account on January 26, bringing his 10-year career as a locker room leader and constant presence on special teams to a close.
Levine expressed his appreciation for the Ravens franchise and fanbase in his retirement video, saying, “”Being here in Baltimore has been nothing but a blessing. 10 years went by so fast.”
Beloved by his teammates and coaches, Levine has also been a fan favorite during his decade in Baltimore due to his selfless contributions on special teams. His veteran leadership and mentorship of Baltimore’s special teams unit and younger safeties like Chuck Clark and Geno Stone earned him the nickname of “Co-Cap.”
By the end of his career, Levine has amassed a whopping 3,122 total snaps on special teams, averaging more than 300 special teams snaps per season and more than 20 per game. His durability has been particularly valuable; from 2013-2021, Levine played more than 70% of the Ravens’ special teams snaps every year except for 2018, when he played a career-high 280 snaps on defense.
But despite his constant presence in the Ravens’ locker room over the past decade, Levine’s NFL prospects weren’t always so clear. The Louisiana native went undrafted out of Tennessee State University in 2010 and spent the first two years of his career on the Green Bay Packers practice squad. Though the Packers won Super Bowl XLV in his rookie year, the idea of playing with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed tempted Levine to come to Baltimore, per the Ravens’ Ryan Mink.
“My goal was to make it to the NFL, that’s all I wanted, not knowing that I would play in the best organization in the world,” said Levine, who won his second career Super Bowl in his debut season with the Ravens in 2012.
But retirement won’t take Levine away from the Ravens quite yet. The team announced that the veteran safety would “transition into a scouting and coaching assistant role in 2022,” after his retirement.
Teammates, Coaches Congratulate Levine
The congratulations poured in from Levine’s past and present teammates and coaches following his retirement announcement.
“Tough, smart, persistent and dependable, Anthony represents the very best of what it means to be a Raven,” said head coach John Harbaugh, “A relentless competitor and man of high character, Anthony poured every part of himself into the team.”
Chris Horton and Jerry Rosburg, Levine’s special teams coordinators during his career in Baltimore, also spoke very highly of the retiring safety.
“For 10 years, Anthony has terrorized opponents on the field,” said Horton, “He has earned the utmost respect of coaches and players around the league.”
Rosburg, who retired in 2019, praised Levine’s “unique combination of talents and stout heart,” and his constant contributions to all parts of the Ravens’ special teams play.
“He has been the first man down the field on kickoff coverage for nearly a decade; he has blocked the opponent’s best players on the return phases; and he has captained the punt team with a vigorous spirit,” said Rosburg.
Levine also famously converted a fake punt during the Ravens’ regular season opener in 2019 that kicked off a 14-2 season for the Ravens that ended with an MVP for Lamar Jackson.
Levine Endorses Next Special Teams Leader
With Levine retiring, the Ravens will be looking for their next leader on special teams.
Levine endorsed inside linebacker Chris Board, who he called “by far the best special teams player in the league,” during a January 26 podcast with the Ravens.
“I think the last two years, Chris Board has taken a tremendous jump,” Levine continued, praising Board’s development on both special teams and defense.
Board is set to hit free agency in March after signing a one-year, $1.6 million contract with the Ravens for the 2021 season, per Spotrac. Board is valued as a third-down linebacker and special teams ace in Baltimore, so he’s likely to be re-signed.