Possible Ray Rice NFL Return?
Ray Rice last touched the field in a regular season game on December 29, 2013 against the Cincinnati Bengals. We all know the reason why he that was his last game. He committed domestic violence against his current wife. Now he is the poster child of how to act after you commit an act as ugly as domestic violence. And has even said he would play for free and give his salary to domestic violence charity. But players in the NFL, like Greg Hardy, are still getting chances in the NFL. Yes, he is getting the chance because he is still a good player, when he isn’t slapping clipboards out of coach’s hands. Yes, I understand that in Ray Rice’s last regular season he only rushed for 660 yards on 214 carries and only had four touchdowns, but if you look at some teams in the league he could definitely be an upgrade. But NFL teams has basically shunned him out of the league, even though there are teams that could really use him.
If you look at the depth chart of the 2015 Cleveland Browns, and look at the running back position, you can definitely see where Rice could fit in. In the offseason they didn’t do too much to add to their depth at running back. With Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. as their only real good options at the position, why not sign Rice to a one-year deal to prove himself? He most likely won’t be the starting running back, but he can definitely spell Crowell on first and second between the tackles. Johnson will most likely be in the game to stretch the field from the running back position. In Rice’s last year, he had 981 yards from rushing and receiving, which is more than Crowell’s 888 rushing and receiving total. And let’s add that Rice told USA Today Sports that his career-low 3.1 yards per carry and career-low rushing yards is mainly because of a Grade 3 muscle tear in his left quad. So the notion that Rice is not good enough for the league is crazy. As player who played with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, he can definitely help the youngsters on this team. He could be a good mentor for returning wide receiver Josh Gordon, who could really use a great influence in the locker room.
I think a logical place could be the Baltimore Ravens. On Thursday’s practice fourth round pick Kenneth Dixon sprained his MCL and is listed as day-to-day. Once again if you look at the Ravens depth chart you could see some running backs on that roster that are not better than Rice. One of those running backs is Trent Richardson. In Richardson’s best year in 2012, he only rushed for 950 yards. In Rice’s worst year in 2013, he had 660 rushing yards. Richardson’s best year is only 290 yards more than Rice’s worst year. Baltimore does have Terrance West and Justin Forsett, but in this league you need two or three dependable backs. It would be a smooth transition on the field for Rice if the Ravens sign him. He knows Coach John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco and knows the city. Wherever Rice goes he said that he wants to have an imprint in the community, so why not start in Baltimore.
The NFL really needs to clean up their image and they can do it with Ray Rice, but whenever the NFL sees the Rice they see the video that made his family infamous. But that is not the man he is today. He has done everything you would want to see in someone who was involved in domestic violence. He has took ownership of the incident and he has helped citizens that have been affected by domestic violence. The NFL can stand up with Ray Rice and help people who have been affected by domestic violence, instead of shunning a man who has showed contrition for his actions and allowing a man who has been nothing been insensitive and ignorant to what he has done. If I was a NFL owner, I would be more worried about signing Greg Hardy instead of Ray Rice, because Rice has shown me he is a changed man and man who knows how precious the chance to play in the NFL is.