NFL Interest in Ray Rice Heating Up?
A year ago Ray Rice was completely toxic to the touch for any NFL franchise. The troubled running back has spent a season away from pro football, however, and it’s starting to look like he could get another shot from a running back-needy team.
Per reports, Rice and his agent have extended phone calls to multiple teams, trying to get an invitiation to training camp, if not a flat out signings. One team got close to signing Rice recently, but per reports, ownerhship stepped in at the last second to kill the deal.
It isn’t known what teams have maintained open communication with Rice or which team nearly signed him. What is known, however, is that interest has drummed up considerably for a versatile rusher who once was one of the most explosive threats in all of football.
The key phrase there is “used to be”. However, at just 28 years old and with fresh legs, Rice could not only come back to the field fresher than ever in 2015, but he also could hit the ground running with a chip on his shoulder.
The obvious question is what the backlash would be, as Rice was exposed via video for hitting his then fiance’. These early whispers about a comeback could be the necessary stepping stones to allowing Rice to resume his career, but it’s been made abundantly clear that no NFL franchise wants to touch him if they think it will make for negative PR.
That, of course, may be something that isn’t avoidable. If it’s determined that the risk of some short-term bad press is out-weighed by the upside of a healthy and determined Rice, then it’s entirely possible one of 32 NFL franchises finally gives him the shot he’s been seeking for the past year.
Beyond that, there lies just one question: who would take the chance?
There are multiple teams that need help at running back or have a shaky enough backfield that they’d consider adding a veteran back to spice things up a bit. That number shrinks when you add the amount of organizations who would be scared off be the media frenzy, naturally.
That being said, a few teams jump out as likely landing spots for Ray Rice. The biggest one is the Dallas Cowboys. Only Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle look like threats to win the starting job after DeMarco Murray left in free agency, and neither screams “superstar”. A refurbished Rice could take over behind the ‘Boys mammoth-sized o-line and succeed quite easily.
Other teams that don’t have great situations at running back are the Tennessee Titans, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
When Rice was suspended indefinitely from the league a year ago, NFL odds were released (-150 for Yes and +200 for No) on whether he would return. His suspension is lifted and if a team wants him, they can go out and get him. The kicker, of course, is if anyone will risk public outcry to do so.
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