It would appear that Ray Rice dodged a bullet with his two-game suspension, as the NFL just dramatically increased its mandatory punishment for cases of domestic violence. Here’s a snippet from Rodger Goodell’s letter to sent to NFL front offices today, outlining the new policy:
[PFT] Effective immediately, violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense, with consideration given to mitigating factors, as well as a longer suspension when circumstances warrant. Among the circumstances that would merit a more severe penalty would be a prior incident before joining the NFL, or violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child. A second offense will result in banishment from the NFL; while an individual may petition for reinstatement after one year, there will be no presumption or assurance that the petition will be granted. These disciplinary standards will apply to all NFL personnel.
First offense, six games, followed by a lifetime ban after the second offense.