Ray Rice Deals Huge Blow To NFL, Wins His Appeal Of Indefinite Suspension
As many expected, Ray Rice won his appeal of the NFL's indefinite suspension today, which means he'll be reinstated and eligible to sign with any team, per Ian Rapoport:
Ray Rice is immediately eligible, source says, by winning his appeal.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 28, 2014
Judge Barbara Jones took Rice's side in the hearing. According to Adam Schefter, Jones did not believe that Rice lied to commissioner Roger Goodell about what took place in that Atlantic City elevator. Goodell testified (and has said publicly) that Rice was "ambiguous" about the assault. This contradicted testimony from Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome, who said Rice was honest with Goodell about hitting his then-fiancee.
This is a huge blow to the NFL and Goodell's ability to seemingly make up punishments as he goes along. After suspending Rice for two games, his indefinite suspension ended up keeping Rice off the field for 11 games, which doesn't seem to adhere to any sort of policy other than "I don't want to look like a lenient asshole anymore." It'll be interesting to see if that trend continues for Adrian Peterson's indefinite suspension hearing, which begins next week.
As for Rice's immediate future, it's doubtful any team signs him this year. He wasn't all that effective as a runner last season either. Who will want to take a flier on a 28-year-old running back who already appeared to be on the decline and brings a media circus along with him? Probably the Cowboys, but we'll see.
Other possibilities for Rice in 2015 (via @_JakeODonnell):
-Oakland: Dead last in total rushing yards with 809 so far this season, good place to resurrect career/hide.
-Arizona: Dead last in yards per carry (3.1), just signed 30-year-old RB Michael Bush so they're clearly looking to bolster their running game.
-Indianapolis: Trent Richardson is the second-worst running back of all time (not really, but sort of) and they have only one RB behind him (Daniel Herron). The Colts RBs have most fumbles in the league (10). Ahmad Bradshaw is on IR after fracturing his fibula and Rice is a solid receiving back accumulating over 700 yards in two of his six seasons in the NFL.
Photo via Getty
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