Tag Archive | "Ray Rice"

Ravens offensive lineman Reid arrested for misdemeanor battery

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Ravens offensive lineman Reid arrested for misdemeanor battery

Posted on 09 March 2014 by Luke Jones

A troubling offseason for the Ravens got worse Sunday as reserve offensive lineman Jah Reid was arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery in Key West, Fla. early Sunday.

According to the Key West police department, Reid was arrested following an altercation with several others at a bar that escalated when security tried to break up the fight. There is reportedly video evidence of the offensive lineman punching a security guard in the face multiple times.

He was released on $2,000 bond Sunday.

The 25-year-old is the third Baltimore player arrested over the last month, joining running back Ray Rice (simple assault-domestic violence) and wide receiver Deonte Thompson (marijuana possession).

“We have learned of the situation and are gathering information,” Ravens director of public relations Chad Steele said in statement.

The 2011 third-round pick has never lived up to the Ravens’ expectations and appeared in 10 games as a reserve last season. Reid made seven starts at left guard in 2012 before a toe injury ended his season and rookie Kelechi Osemele settled into the position during the postseason run to Super Bowl XLVII.

Reid is likely on the bubble to make the 53-man roster as he enters his fourth season in Baltimore, so this off-field incident won’t do him any favors in how the organization views him moving forward.


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Harbaugh says Rice, fiancée to attend couples seminar

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Harbaugh says Rice, fiancée to attend couples seminar

Posted on 05 March 2014 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — While they await a court date regarding an alleged domestic altercation that occurred in Atlantic City last month, Ravens running back Ray Rice and his fiancée plan to attend a couples seminar to work out their issues.

Rice and Janay Palmer were arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence following the incident at an Atlantic City casino. A court summons said they struck each other with their hands and that Rice rendered his fiancée unconscious.

The Ravens continue to gather information about the altercation and general manager Ozzie Newsome acknowledged at last month’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis that the portion of the surveillance video released by TMZ didn’t look good, but the general manager said that he feels positive about Rice’s side of the story.

“I’ve talked to Ray a lot, and [I have] really nothing to add other than what’s been said already,” coach John Harbaugh said at a Wednesday press conference to announce tight end Dennis Pitta’s new five-year, $32 million contract. “The facts will determine the consequences, and we’ll see where it goes. I haven’t seen anything different, just like you haven’t seen anything different.

“Ray has told me his side of it, and everything that we’ve seen so far is very consistent with what he’s said. There’s nothing he’s said that hasn’t turned out to be the case. I know Ray is going to spend a week at a seminar-type of thing as a couples-type deal. He’s doing everything he can to do what he needs to do and make things right.”

The original court date was canceled last month and has yet to be rescheduled after Atlantic City police turned the case over to the prosecutor’s office for further review in determining whether additional or different charges needed to be filed.

Flacco, receivers plan to get to work

With Pitta now locked up for the next five years as a critical contributor in the passing game, the 28-year-old now plans to get together with quarterback Joe Flacco and the other wide receivers under contract to begin working prior to the start of the offseason program and organized team activities.

Pitta said he likes what he’s seen of new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s system and wants to put in extra time working with Flacco and his other teammates in trying to jump-start a passing game that ranked 18th in the NFL last season.

“We’ve talked about it, and it’s nothing set in stone right now,” Pitta said. “I know that’s something Joe wants to get done. He wants to be able to meet with us and kind of get on the same page and go over some of the new things that we’re going to be doing. I’m sure we’ll get that ironed out in the next few weeks.”

NFL teams with returning head coaches may begin their offseason programs on April 21.

Pitta supports Jimmy Graham’s franchise tag grievance

After much discussion of possibly receiving the franchise tag before agreeing to a long-term deal last week, Pitta empathized with New Orleans’s Jimmy Graham, who is filing a grievance with the league over being designated  at the tight end position as the Saints’ franchise player.

Graham took a majority of his snaps lined up out wide and in the slot last season and contends that he should be viewed as a wide receiver, which would mean receiving a tender of $12.132 million instead of the $7.053 million specified for the tight end position. Pitta could have made a similar argument after lining up in the slot on 79.7 percent of his snaps last season.

“I think he’s been a top producer in this league, certainly on his team, [and] led his team in catches, yards, touchdowns,” Pitta said. “Why all of a sudden, because he’s labeled as a tight end, does that devalue his stock? I think it’s something that he should challenge because it’s not right that he can catch more touchdowns and more yards than maybe someone who is classified as a wide receiver, yet because he has that tight end label, now all of a sudden his value is cut in half.”

Not following in Flacco’s footsteps

After being asked whether he’d celebrate his new contract in a similar manner to how Flacco commemorated his record-setting $120.6 million deal last offseason, Pitta made it clear that his best friend on the team will still be taking care of the bill when they meet for dinner.

“I probably won’t go to McDonald’s after this,” said Pitta, laughing as he recalled Flacco’s highly-publicized first meal after officially signing a nine-figure contract. “No, I didn’t get Joe Flacco money, so he will still be paying for dinners.”

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Newsome acknowledges Ray Rice video “doesn’t look good”

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Newsome acknowledges Ray Rice video “doesn’t look good”

Posted on 22 February 2014 by Luke Jones

While echoing John Harbaugh’s sentiment that the facts will determine consequences for Ray Rice, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome didn’t sugarcoat his reaction when asked if he’d seen the video of the running back dragging his fiancee from a casino elevator.

“It doesn’t look good,” Newsome said. “But I’m going to reserve all my comments up until I have a chance to talk to Ray.”

While Rice has spoken to Harbaugh, director of player development Harry Swayne, and head of security Darren Sanders, Newsome told reporters at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis that he has yet to speak to the seventh-year running back.

Rice and fiancée Janay Palmer were both arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence after a physical altercation in Atlantic City last weekend. However, Newsome said he feels “very good” about Rice’s side of the story told to members of the organization and on the measures the 27-year-old has taken in the aftermath of the incident to address his relationship with Palmer.

“In any of those situations, it’s very concerning, but up until we get all of the facts, we will allow the process run its course,” Newsome said. “I think John said it best yesterday: ‘We will let the facts determine what the consequences will be.’”

Newsome gave no indication that Rice’s future with the Ravens is in jeopardy, but he acknowledged that the entire video must be reviewed by the league and that the organization will follow commissioner Roger Goodell’s lead in that regard. It has been reported that Atlantic City police possess surveillance video of the pair striking each other with Rice rendering Palmer unconscious.

Many have opined that because of the public nature in which this story has played out with TMZ releasing a portion of the video on Wednesday, Rice is likely to face a suspension.

“As a league, we have a conduct policy,” Newsome said said. “Being a member of the league, we will follow that from A to Z. Up until we get to that point, right now, he falls under the personal conduct policy with the league. And we will allow the league to take its position before we will have to take any.”

To hear the entire Ozzie Newsome press conference at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, click HERE.

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B&B Big Story Banter: Rice and Suggs

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B&B Big Story Banter: Rice and Suggs

Posted on 22 February 2014 by Brett Dickinson

By: Brett Dickinson and Barry Kamen

BK: The Baltimore Ravens are in off season mode. The Baltimore Orioles are still reporting to Sarasota for spring training. Despite these facts, the Baltimore area dominated the sports headlines this week; equal parts good, with equal parts bad. I want to start the banter with the Ravens already answering their biggest question of the off season, signing OLB Terrell Suggs to an extension that lowers his current salary cap number by $4 million, and will allow Suggs to finish his career where it all started.

Mr. Dickinson, what is your take on the parameters of the contract that T-Sizzle received, and did the Ravens make the correct decision by bringing him back?

BD: Personally, many people already know that I am not a fan of Suggs, because of his off-field transgressions.  But I also believe that he has been overrated by the general public for several years now, even when he won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2012.

Suggs has a tendency of disappearing for not just plays, but games at a time. None was more evident than the final nine games of the season last year, recording one sack in that span.  For a player being paid hefty money to attack the QB, he is simply not consistent enough to garner such lofty contracts.

His sack totals are elevated, as he has a tendency to have big games against inferior offensive tackles (he recorded 3 of his 10 sacks against the Dolphins last year, and that was before they traded for Bryant McKinnie).  The same went for his peak season of 2012, where out of his 14.5 sacks, 9 came in three games.

Add in his off-field issues, with domestic violence charges and the government collecting retrieving his arsenal of assault weapons from his home and I do not think he has earned an extension. More importantly at 31, his best years are already behind him and for a team trying to retool, that little over $3 Million could be used elsewhere.

The Seahawks laid the blueprint on how to build the franchise in the 2010’s, by adding a bevy of highly skilled role players, surrounded by key stars at key positions.  They had one of the greatest defenses ever, without spending big money on a single pass-rusher.  Instead adding depth throughout their roster, they were able to dominate the entire league.

Ozzie has a problem awarding players for past performances, which has led to the Ravens living in cap hell for years now.  That will only continue if he does not learn that it is better to cut ties with a player one year too early, rather than one year too late.


So Barry, speaking of cutting ties, what is the general reaction to the Ray Rice Saga and how should the Ravens (and the NFL) respond? Should (and will) he be on the roster come September?

Ray Rice and FianceBK: Shock. Sadness. Disappointment. Those three words can sum up how the Ravens Nation feels following the arrest of their once beloved running back. Prior to this season, Ray Rice had been a pillar of stability, both on and off the field. Rice’s production, coupled with his strong anti-bullying campaign, made him impossible to dislike. After a disappointing 2013 season in which Rice averaged just 3.1 yards per carry and 4 touchdowns, many wonder if Rice’s days of being one of the top running backs in the league are over.

I cannot help but wonder if there is a connection between Rice’s disgruntled work life and his personal life. There is no excuse for ever striking a woman. And when that woman is already the mother of your child and set to be your wife, more questions have to be asked. The Baltimore Ravens have had their fair share of legal issues to deal with over the years (namely Ray and Jamal Lewis in separate incidents), but I do not think that Rice can repair his image in Baltimore.

From a business perspective, it makes little sense for the Ravens to cut Rice, who would still be owed $14 million in guaranteed money from the contract he signed in 2012. However, the Ravens do not have a choice at this moment. The video (seen here) of Rice dragging his unconscious fiance out of the casino elevator is not the entire story, but it says enough.

With Gary Kubiak as the new offensive coordinator, the Ravens can draft a running back and tell the media that they were the best player available who happened to fit Kubiak’s scheme. I do know a guy who would fit in really well here… Terrance West

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Harbaugh expects Rice to remain with Ravens despite legal trouble

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Harbaugh expects Rice to remain with Ravens despite legal trouble

Posted on 21 February 2014 by Luke Jones

Head coach John Harbaugh broke his silence Friday on the arrest of Ray Rice by saying he expects the troubled running back to remain with the Ravens.

Speaking to reporters gathered at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Harbaugh was asked if there was a scenario in which he envisioned the 27-year-old not remaining with the organization this season.

“Not that I’m aware of,” Harbaugh said. “I haven’t seen anything that would remotely make me think that. … The facts will determine the consequences, always. That’s always the case. It’s a process.”

Rice and fiancée Janay Palmer were both arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence after an alleged physical altercation at an Atlantic City casino last weekend. Despite video surfacing of Rice appearing to drag an unconscious Palmer from an elevator and the court summons saying he struck her and rendered her unconscious, the pair were released and allowed to return home together.

Harbaugh confirmed that he spoke with Rice about the incident over the telephone earlier this week.

“The two people obviously have a couple issues that they have to work through, and they’re both committed to doing that.,” Harbaugh said. “That was the main takeaway for me from the conversation. They understand their own issues. They’re getting a lot of counseling and those kinds of things, so I think that’s really positive. That was the main takeaway.”

Of course, the Ravens remain in information-gathering mode as general manager Ozzie Newsome said Monday at a press conference to announce a contract extension for linebacker Terrell Suggs.

It was surprising for the head coach to speak so openly regarding Rice’s status considering how negatively the charge has been met publicly, but Harbaugh reminded everyone that much remains unknown about the case.

“There are a lot of facts and a process that has to be worked through in anything like this,” Harbaugh said. “There are a lot of question marks. But Ray’s character, you guys know his character, so you start with that.”

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Report: Police possess video of Rice knocking fiancée unconscious

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Report: Police possess video of Rice knocking fiancée unconscious

Posted on 21 February 2014 by Luke Jones

The latest information to surface in the Ray Rice saga isn’t as shocking as it is startling while expanding on what we already knew about the circumstances that led to the Ravens running back’s arrest in Atlantic City last weekend.

Police said Sunday there was video surveillance of Rice and fiancée Janay Palmer striking one another with their hands — leading to both being charged with simple assault-domestic violence — but that footage shows him knocking her unconscious, according to Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated. This comes after the court summons released to media outlets on Wednesday said Rice struck Palmer with his hand, “rendering her unconscious.”

This revelation shouldn’t be surprising considering the heavy surveillance used in Atlantic City casinos, but — if true — it could be a fatal blow to Rice’s public perception after a court date scheduled for next Tuesday was postponed while the county prosecutor reviews the case “to ensure all appropriate charges are considered.” A video released to TMZ earlier this week showed Rice dragging what appears to be an unconscious Palmer from an elevator in the aftermath of the physical altercation.

General manager Ozzie Newsome said Monday that Rice remained in the Ravens’ plans for the 2014 season but that the organization would continue to gather information. If such a graphic video exists and surfaces publicly, the organization would seemingly have no choice but to — at the very least — reevaluate their position in terms of the 27-year-old’s employment.

On Saturday morning, Newsome is scheduled to meet with the media at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Putting aside the public relations ramifications of whether to continue to employ Rice, the Ravens would face difficult salary-cap ramifications should they decide to part ways with the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

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An open letter to Ray Rice

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An open letter to Ray Rice

Posted on 21 February 2014 by Drew Forrester

Dear Ray,

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first.  I’m pulling for you.  More than anything, I’m pulling for you and your fiancee’ to work your way through this for the benefit of not only yourselves and your future, but that of your daughter.  Nothing is more important than your family.  Make your family a priority, which I’m sure you will, and you’ll do just fine.  Football, for the time being, is very much secondary.

There’s no real need to stress how disappointed we all are with you and your actions in that casino last Saturday morning.  I’m disappointed in you.  The team is disappointed in you.  You, I’m sure, are disappointed in you.  So, that’s the end of the finger-wagging and me telling you how bad of a boy you’ve been.  You know it.

Now, for the rest of the story, as the saying goes.

You’re no doubt embarrassed about what happened last weekend in Atlantic City.  Notwithstanding the very serious legal situation you’re involved in — which trumps football by a long shot — you’re obviously aware of how your actions and involvement in a domestic-violence case can potentially affect the way the Ravens look at you as an employee.

One thing you’re definitely finding out this week — this situation is going to affect how the fans in town look at you as a football player.  You’re going to need some thick skin, my man, a fact I’m sure you’ve discovered if you’ve seen the internet or checked your Twitter account this week.  If you think Baltimore’s tough on you, wait until the fans in Pittsburgh and Cleveland get a hold of you next season.  It’s not going to be pretty.

Speaking of the way Baltimore has turned on you this week, please know this:  Some of that…well, MOST of it, frankly, is due to the fact you’re coming off a bad season on the field and your 2014 salary cap figure is thought by many to be hamstringing the team in their efforts to rebuild and improve.  If you were coming off a rushing season that included 1,600 yards and 12 TD’s, the football community would be more forgiving of your actions last weekend.  Unfortunately, they’ve been wanting your blood since about week six of the recent NFL season and this, now, gives them the opportunity to quench that thirst.

By the way, I wasn’t all that impressed with your work on the field last season, either, but I don’t connect that with your arrest in Atlantic City.  They’re two completely different topics.

So, while you’re probably taking a lot of advice from folks in your family, your “camp” and your circle of friends, let me give you some more to consider.

First, Ray, please don’t let what happened last weekend define you as a person, an athlete and a Baltimore sports representative.  Don’t stop your work with the anti-bullying campaign you’ve been so involved with over the last few years.  The message you’ve been sending is an important one and I know, having been involved in an event or two where you’ve also been in attendance, that young men and women in town need someone like you to stress to them the dangers of youth (and adult) bullying.

You might recall a few years back when I was involved in an event Ben Grubbs was holding and you were there, too, with a bunch of young boys and girls from the Police Athletic League.  I’ve seen a lot of athletes over the years engage with kids but your work that night was magical.  And real.

Don’t stop now.  Keep going, please.  The city needs you.  I know you have other issues — personal and professional — to get straightened out and please do that.  But once you’re back and your life is in balance again, continue that outstanding work you’ve been involved with over the last six years since you came to Baltimore. This community is in dire need of help — like most communities are these days — and people like you who put your heart and soul into it need to do more, not less.

This, now, is a great time for you to lean on God and your faith to help bring you through this and redeem yourself and your character.  There are two people at the Ravens facility you should seek out immediately, because they’ll both help you.  Go see Rod Hairston, the team chaplain, close the door to his office, and simply ask him “How can God help me get through this and make sure what happened in Atlantic City never happens again?”  Rod will give you some answers.  So, too, will God.  Go do the same thing with your head coach, John Harbaugh.  Ask him the same questions you ask Rod.  John’s an insightful man who’s deeply connected to his faith and he’ll give you some great guidance.

And finally, you need to take a deep, serious look at your alcohol use to determine if it’s becoming a problem.  If it is, seek help.  That’s simple.  And, I’m sure, it’s not the easiest thing to do to take that deep of a look at yourself and admit you’ve lost control of your ability to have a drink or two without it adversely affecting your decision making. But you must have that conversation with yourself and, if necessary, a professional with experience in alcohol and drug abuse to determine if you need help.  If you do, get it. No matter what you think, you can’t beat alcohol, if, in fact, you’ve reached the stage of not being able to control it.  Have that tough talk with yourself and move forward.

I wish you all the best in your legal situation and your personal relationship with your fiancee’.  I know you didn’t plan on this happening.  But it did.  Now, you need to deal with it and, as I wrote above, work your ass off to make sure it’s not your defining moment in Baltimore.

I know you’re better than what you showed in Atlantic City last weekend.

Now, please prove me right.

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Rice’s cap ramifications clear despite stormy legal situation

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Rice’s cap ramifications clear despite stormy legal situation

Posted on 20 February 2014 by Luke Jones

The questions keep coming regarding running back Ray Rice and what actions the Ravens can potentially take in response to his troubling legal situation, but the realities are clear in terms of his contract and the salary cap.

At least for now.

This isn’t about debating whether the Ravens should release Rice as you’ve likely already formulated your position on the alleged domestic altercation between him and fiancée Janay Palmer based on what’s known to this point. General manager Ozzie Newsome said earlier this week that Rice remained in the team’s plans for 2014 and while the organization is taking the situation very seriously, there remains no indication that they plan to cut the 27-year-old as of now.

The Ravens have a history of staying the course with players dealing with legal problems, and there’s no reason to believe this incident would be any different despite their obvious concerns and displeasure with their starting running back.

But if more damning evidence surfaces that’s worse than the troubling video released by TMZ on Wednesday and the Ravens would determine they simply cannot proceed with Rice as a member of the organization, the salary cap won’t do them any favors as was discussed at the start of the offseason when his career-worst 3.1 yards per carry average in 2013 appeared to be his biggest problem.

Rice carries an $8.75 million cap number for the 2014 season, which includes a $4 million base salary and a $4.75 million figure that’s the prorated portion of the signing bonus and option bonus paid in the first two years of his contract. The decision to cut Rice would excuse the Ravens from paying his $4 million base salary, but the hit in dead money would be devastating to their cap.

Because Rice’s contract runs through the 2016 season, releasing him now would cause the $14.25 million in prorated bonus hits over the next three years to count entirely against this year’s cap. In other words, instead of counting for $8.75 million against the cap should he remain on the roster, Rice’s exit would eat up an additional $5.5 million in cap space for a total of $14.25 million on the 2014 cap, making him more costly to jettison than to keep.

That proposition does become a little more palatable with Thursday’s news of the 2014 salary cap increasing to $130 million — currently leaving the Ravens with just under $20 million in room — but it would still be a crippling blow for a team needing to address multiple positions this offseason. If they felt they had no choice but to cut Rice, a post-June 1 designation would clear $4 million in cap space (his scheduled base salary) from his current 2014 number of $8.75 million, but those savings wouldn’t arrive until the summer when the offseason is essentially over and would leave a whopping $9.5 million in dead money on the 2015 salary cap.

There’s just no positive outcome to cutting Rice this offseason from a salary-cap standpoint.

Some have posed the idea of the Ravens trying to void his contract due to a morals clause, but that only provides the grounds for cutting a player due to bad behavior, which only means they wouldn’t have to pay his base salary. The ramifications of the signing bonus would remain on the books, which is the more critical piece at work in the discussion.

For context, it’s worth noting that the New England Patriots remain on the hook for a $7.5 million cap hit in 2014 for former tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was released by the organization and charged with first-degree murder last June.

The only course of action that could result in the Ravens receiving some financial forgiveness in terms of the signing bonus would be to keep Rice for the 2014 season and await the possibility of him missing games due to jail time or a suspension from the league. Not only would the Ravens receive cap credit for the prorated portion of his base salary that meets the number of games missed, but the organization would have the right to recover a portion of his signing bonus coinciding with the length of the suspension.

Teams have the same option to try to recover bonus money if a player abruptly retires or holds out, which would also qualify as what’s known as a “forfeitable breach,” a term that became commonplace during the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation last summer. The Ravens could have elected to use the same language in trying to recover money from linebacker Terrell Suggs two offseasons ago when he tore his Achilles tendon because of a non-football activity, but they likely elected not to do so because of the long-term fallout it often creates in the working relationship.

These factors point to there being little chance of the Ravens parting ways with Rice this offseason unless what’s already been a troubling story grows uglier in the coming weeks and the organization concludes that it has no choice but to terminate their relationship with the three-time Pro Bowl running back.

For now, the Ravens appears to have few choices but to sit back and hope for the best for all involved parties.


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ESPN’s Van Valkenburg believes Rice’s reputation may never recover

Posted on 19 February 2014 by WNST Audio

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TMZ’s Rosenblum says there are more Rice videos to come

Posted on 19 February 2014 by WNST Audio

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