Ray Rice Wins Appeal, Free to Sign With Any Team
Ray Rice can finally start to put all of the negativity surroundings his domestic abuse case behind him. Per reports, the former Baltimore Ravens star running back has won his appeal against the NFL and is no longer serving an indefinite suspension.
Instead, Rice is now free to sign with any NFL team that wants him. Of course, finding a team that is willing to take on Rice and the potential public relations circus that comes along with him may be even more difficult than Rice winning his appeal.
The first stepping stone has been placed, however, and now Rice can try to convince a new NFL team that he’s worth the risk. The question is, will someone take the plunge this year, and if so, who could it be?
For now, the logical answer is no one. Rice is still just a couple of months removed from a major PR scandal and the image of him hitting his now wife, combined with the backlash from fans and the league probably won’t sit well with any prospective teams.
On top of him being an obvious distraction and his character being somewhat in question at this point, there is also the serious question in regards to whether or not he can actually help anyone anymore.
Rice is actually fresh off of a career worst 2013 campaign that saw his numbers dip across the board. It’s not crazy to imagine no NFL teams see him as a home run threat anymore, while his perceived lack of explosiveness may also hinder him in other areas.
Since he doesn’t have experience making an impact as a special teams player, he’d need to be able to bring an almost guaranteed high level of play as an almost featured player.
Very few teams are looking for that at this point in the season, while even fewer will be so bold as to assume Rice can give them that.
He could still find a home this season, though. The Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals are two running back-starved teams that just might be able to look past Rice’s issues and realize that he might have the talent to help them. Arizona’s running game has struggled mightily the past few weeks, while the Colts lost Ahmad Bradshaw to an injury recently. Indy head coach Chuck Pagano should also be comfortable with Rice from his days in Baltimore, as well.
It’s worth noting, of course, that when asked about their interest in Rice over a week ago, the Colts said they wouldn’t sign Rice even if he were reinstated by the league.
It will be interesting to see if Indy’s tune changes (as well as the tune of other teams) as the weeks go by and a potentially still talented 28-year old running back waits at home for a call.
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