On Monday, Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice and his wife met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss how the league would deal with his February arrest for aggravated assault against his wife. The NFL has a personal conduct policy that Rice violated when he struck his wife, Janay Palmer, who was then his fiancee, in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino.
The meeting is the routine; Goodell usually meets with players facing punishment from the league. Goodell’s consideration of Rice’s suspension preceded the Ravens’ three-day mandatory minicamp starting Tuesday; Rice has already been attending the Ravens’ various offseason minicamps.
Scuttlebutt is that Rice will receive no more than a multi-game suspension because he had no prior record. The Ravens have already signed veteran running back Justin Forsett and drafted running back Lorenzo Taliaferro as substitutes for Rice, who had struggled last season, if he should be absent. Bernard Pierce, Rice’s normal replacement, is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, but should be back soon, according to head coach John Harbaugh.
Rice was arrested on Feb. 15 and later indicted on a felony aggravated assault charge; Palmer was also given a misdemeanor charge that was later dropped. Just a couple of days after Rice was indicted, he and Palmer were married. Last month Rice joined a pretrial intervention program so he could avoid jail time and expunge the assault charge from his record.
On May 24, the couple held a news conference in which Rice publicly apologized to his family and fans, but did not apologize to his wife, prompting public criticism. He said, “There were a lot of tears shed, but me and Janay can truly say that we’re in a better place. Hopefully, one day I’ll gain back everyone’s trust to let you all know that we’re still the same people, and I’m still the same person. I really treat my job as a very special job, and I failed miserably. But I wouldn’t call myself a failure, because I’m working my way back up.”
The arrest of Rice was one of four plaguing the Ravens this year; Taliaferro was charged with being drunk in public in late May, Deonte Thompson was arrested on misdemeanor drug charges that were later dismissed, and Jah Reid was arrested for misdemeanor battery.