After a tumultuous exit from the NFL due to domestic violence, there’s a growing chance Ray Rice could return to the league in 2016.
The Ray Rice controversy enveloped the NFL for the better part of a calendar year. The end result — a stricter punishment protocol for NFL personnel accused and charged with domestic violence — being the lone silver lining on one of the league’s darkest clouds.
Rice’s actions cost him a spot on the Baltimore Ravens roster, putting his NFL career on hold. Now it seems Rice could be making a return to the league for the first time since 2013.
Rice was a dynamic force for the Ravens and a key contributor to the team’s success during the early years of the Jon Harbaugh era, when the All-Pro helped compliment Joe Flacco’s big arm by being a kind of Swiss Army knife of the offense.
It’s been almost three years since Rice last carried the ball in the NFL, with myriad changes having come to both the league and its domestic-violence policy. Rice hasn’t been involved with any other similar charges since that incident, and as such it appears the former running back may be able to continue his NFL career this year.
As a result, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rice play in the NFL in 2016. As Adam Schefter reports, “There’s a growing sense that Ray Rice… might get a chance to play in NFL again this season, per league sources”.
Don’t expect anyone to sign Rice right away, however, as teams in need of depth will undoubtedly do their due diligence before going all in.
If anything, Rice’s next home will probably come midway through the season, when teams look to fill holes left by injury or bolster their ranks in preparation for a playoff push.