Former Ravens RB Ray Rice said he’s “optimistic” that he’ll get another shot at playing the NFL, even after all that has transpired in the past year.
“I’m optimistic that I’ll get a second chance,” Rice said told the Baltimore Sun. “I don’t think this boils down to whether I can play football or not. Obviously I know that. I just think there’s so much more that comes with it. I know the PR side of it will be tough. I understand that.”
Rice wound up sitting out the entire 2014 season after the Ravens cut him loose shortly after the the security video that shows Rice knocking out his then-fiancee, Janay, was released.
Since then, some have speculated that he could be given another opportunity, but there has been no reported interest in him.
Rice says that he doesn’t want his career to be defined by this situation.
“I don’t want my career to be defined by this one moment,” Rice said. “I’ve been smart with money and the NFL is a great-paying game, but I really want to get back out there for my pride and to be able to leave the game with dignity. I don’t ever want to feel exiled out because I wasn’t that guy. … I know I’m not ready to call it quits yet.”
Even if an NFL team was willing to look past the obvious concerns about signing Rice to a contract, this year’s free agent class is loaded at the running back position.
On top of that, the 2015 draft class could be the best crop of running backs in years, so NFL teams have a number of solid options to consider if they’re looking for help at running back.
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 has him rated as the worst qualifying running back in the league that year.
We’ll have more regarding Rice possibly returning to the NFL as the news is available.