The Baltimore Ravens released veteran running back Ray Rice yesterday, following the release of a video showing him hit his now wife back in February. It was a disturbing video, but it’s worth noting that Rice was already handed a suspension and was going through the domestic abuse protocol. Despite that, the Ravens cut him loose and the NFL expanded his former two-game ban to an “indefinite” suspension.
The league and Ravens both claim they had never seen the footage of Rice’s actions and came away disgusted. Regardless of your stance, it’s obvious to anyone that Rice is still in the prime of his career and with so many NFL players getting off on various offenses, it’s not crazy to think Rice could be back on the field in less than a year. While it might be unlikely (and probably shouldn’t happen) it’s at least interesting to think who (is stupid enough) could take a chance on the guy.
Let’s take a look at four places Rice could potentially continue his career in:
New England Patriots
Not that Bill Belichick and co. are stupid, but they have a history of taking on reclamation projects. They’ve had success in the past, while they also have a bit of a need at running back. Rookie James White hasn’t impressed, Stevan Ridley fumbles too much and Shane Vereen has a shaky injury history. Bad PR or not, adding Rice could give the RB spot some real stability.
You can never rule out the Raiders. This is a team that trade for Matt Flynn, after all. They already have two seemingly washed up running backs, but the third is the charm, right?
You never can predict what Jerry Jones will do next. Dallas doesn’t have a real need for a running back or the PR headache, but it’s Jones’ team/world and we’re just along for the ride.
Trent Richardson is abysmal enough to force Indy to consider bringing on a woman beat. It’s true. Ahmad Bradshaw is solid, but he had a neck issue a year ago and has had foot problems for years. Completely depending on him to pick up the slack might be a bit foolish. Rice could quietly sit as the third stringer until the music dies down.
Ultimately, Ray Rice has probably played his last down. That’s how it should be, anyways, but with so many players doing awful acts and still getting a second chance (Michael Vick, anyone?), it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see someone kick his tires once (if) he’s reinstated by the league.