Embattled Ray Rice still waiting for another shot at the NFL

Mon Jul 6, 2015 8:06am EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - Former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice is waging an unrelenting crusade to get back on the field nearly a year after being booted from the National Football League - along with his $35 million contract - over a heinous case of domestic abuse.

Videos of the 28-year-old, two-time Pro Bowler's workouts have been sent to NFL teams, as Rice crosses his fingers that executives will give him a second chance.

General managers are wringing their hands contemplating whether Rice can still deliver on the gridiron and, if he were signed, would he be an unwanted distraction off the field, NFL analysts say.

"Ray Rice deserves a chance to prove he's a quality individual," said Rick "Doc" Walker, a retired nine-year NFL veteran and member of the 1983 Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins.

"I say that because prior to the incident with his fiancee, he showed he was a great guy in the community... On the field, his body of work will have to command some attention."

Rice became the poster boy for the NFL's domestic abuse problems when he delivered a one-punch knockout to his fiancee during a fight in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February 2014.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Rice for two games but when video of the punch went viral, he suspended the running back indefinitely and the Ravens released him.

After the public saw the video, Goodell was excoriated by the public for the light penalties he customarily gave to players who committed domestic violence. The sharp criticism led to a strengthening of the sanctions and an overhaul of the league's Personal Conduct Policy.   Continued...

Former Baltimore Ravens NFL running back Ray Rice arrives for a hearing at a New York City office building November 6, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid