Ray Lewis said he doesn't have a gut feeling on whether there will be a full 16-game NFL season this year.
Asked why he doesn't, the Ravens linebacker offered this cryptic response Wednesday: "I don't know. I'm more on the inside of it of talking to [NFL Players Association leader] DeMaurice Smith and talking to all those guys. But a lot of it, I'm totally away from them because I look at it totally different, and I'll share that at another time."
The NFL and the players disagree on who should oversee talks after a judge handling the injunction urged the sides to go "back to the table." Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are plaintiffs in the case.
The players have been locked out by the owners since March 12. Lewis said he isn't angered by the fact that there are no offseason workouts at team headquarters.
"I would hope and pray all the guys I talk to … the thing I try to tell them is please do something else," Lewis said after an autograph signing session at That Sports Store at the Harford Mall. "You have to have many things going on. To me, this is probably the greatest window of opportunity I've ever had in my life. It's been 25 years of my life that I've never had a summer to myself."
Lewis said he is completely healthy after finishing his 15th NFL season and didn't need any surgeries this offseason. He has begun his training regimen, but he's been "working out for a lifestyle" rather than football, he said.
On the business end, Lewis has been busy promoting his clothing line, RL52 Style; a workout application available on iTunes; a pre-training formula; and his annual "Ray's Summer Days" in Baltimore next month.
"When you get time off, you build something different," Lewis said. "You don't sit around and say, 'If they lock us out, what are we going to do?' What we're going to do is I'm going to keep building empire after empire after empire."
Lewis added: "Don't get me wrong, that's our job and I love it to death. But when somebody abuses your heart and what you do, you've got to move on. If you don't, you'll find yourself bitter and mad. That's too much."