Former Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice is still waiting for a return to the NFL, nearly a year on from his dismissal from the league due to a disgraceful case of domestic abuse.
The running back has sent workout tapes to several NFL teams, in the hope one of them will get back to him and give him a second chance.
Many general managers in the league are probably thinking does Rice still have the goods to deliver on the field? A worthy question to ask considering his age (28) and also the last full season he played (2013), he only gained 660 yards and averaged 3.1 yards per carry, the lowest average of his career by 0.9.
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Rice's last great season in the NFL was when the Ravens made it to the AFC Championship Game in the 2011 season, three points away from the Super Bowl. He achieved 1,364 yards, averaged 4.7 yards per carry and scored 12 touchdowns. It will be a huge ask for Rice to replicate this successful season with any team that signs him up.
Signing up the 28-year-old will come with the added off-field distractions surrounding the player. Yet, some people say Rice deserves a second chance in the league.
After all, USA international women's goalkeeper Hope Solo was allowed to continue playing after assaulting her half-sister and her nephew last year. When her team won the Women's World Cup last weekend, she was treated as a hero. Why can't Rice be given another opportunity to win a Super Bowl?
Rick "Doc" Walker, a retired nine-year NFL veteran and 1983 Super Bowl champion with the Washington Redskins said to Yahoo Sports: "Ray Rice deserves a chance to prove he's a quality individual,"
"I say that because prior to the incident with his fiancee, he showed he was a great guy in the community... On the field, his body of work will have to command some attention."
Many also say if Rice's name was Adrian Peterson, he would still be playing. Then again, if video evidence emerged from that case, I think it would be on the same degree of difficultly for Peterson to return to the league than it is for Rice. A picture can speak a thousand words.
His actions caused a backlash against the NFL, which caused several NFL players to take part in a advertisement by No More, condemning domestic violence and sexual assault.
This is probably why it is so difficult for Rice to be picked up by a team, because of the baggage he carries and the controversy that surrounds him. He essentially now is the face of the NFL's domestic abuse problems, and not a lot of NFL would want that in their locker rooms.
With training camp on the horizon, the question now is do any teams have Rice on their list of players to call if they have injuries?
There isn't many teams where I would pick up Rice and insert him in as the starting running back, if you assess him on his talent alone. If a team was to give the running back a contract though, uproar is likely to occur and this bold move could annoy a lot of fans from that team.
Would many fans forgive him though if he helped that team win the Super Bowl? Only time will tell if Rice is ever given the opportunity to actually try and achieve this.
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