The co-founders of an anti-domestic violence group called “A CALL TO MEN” are advocating that free agent RB Ray Rice get another chance in the NFL.
“We have been around a lot of abusive men, but our experience with Ray has been tremendously positive,” co-founder Tony Porter said this past weekend, via ESPN.com. “We feel strongly about him having the opportunity of having a second chance. He’s deserving of it.”
“He’s held himself accountable,” fellow co-founder Ted Bunch added. “He is saying everything that you would want him to say and doing everything that you would want him to do. So why wouldn’t he deserve another chance? His work in the area of educating young men is more important than him getting back on the field. He knows that and has said that to us. He is seeing the bigger picture. He has a desire to compete again, but also to make a difference in the world. This is what mistakes should be about: learning from them and teaching others. We’ve been in front of a lot of batterers. He is as transparent as I’ve seen, and as sincere as I’ve seen.”
Werder mentions that former Buccaneers HC Greg Schiano is among the group of supporters trying to convince an NFL team to take a chance on him.
According to Werder, an unnamed NFL team “seriously considered” offering Rice a contract, but the team’s ownership became uncomfortable late in the process because of concerns about public reaction to signing him to a contract.
Sources tell Werder that money isn’t an issue for Rice. He instead wants an opportunity to make his case for a chance to compete for a roster spot.
Werder spoke to NFL general managers and personnel directors who said that they view Rice as “declining player at a young man’s position,” which is hardly a positive endorsement to him returning to the NFL.
Rice, 28, last appeared in an NFL game back in 2013 when he ran for 660 yards on 214 carries (3.1 YPC) to go along with 58 receptions for 321 yards receiving and four total touchdowns.
It’s worth mentioning that Rice dealt with a hip injury that year, which could explain his dip in production. However, Pro Football Focus still had him rated as the worst qualifying running back in the league that year.