Baltimore Ravens terminated Ray Rice's contract in wake of assault video emergence

Ravens Terminate Ray Rice's Contract

By DAVID GINSBURG

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Ray Rice was let go by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video was released that appears to show the running back striking his then-fiancee in February.

The grainy video, released by TMZ Sports, apparently shows Rice and Janay Palmer in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. Each hits the other before Rice knocks Palmer off her feet and into a railing. An earlier TMZ video showed Rice dragging Palmer, now his wife, from the elevator at the Revel casino, which closed Sept. 2.

The Ravens said earlier Monday that they never saw the new video. Hours later, they sent out a one-sentence release:

"The Baltimore Ravens terminated the contract of RB Ray Rice this afternoon."

The NFL also took action, saying on Twitter that Commissioner "Roger Goodell has announced that based on new video evidence that became available today he has indefinitely suspended Ray Rice."

Coach John Harbaugh was expected to talk Monday night after practice.

The NFL suspended Rice for two games in July for domestic violence, a punishment at the time that received widespread criticism in different circles.

"We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday morning. "That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today."

Goodell indicated as much on Aug. 1 when during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend.

"When we're going through the process of evaluating the issue and whether there will be discipline, you look at all of the facts that you have available to us," Goodell said. "Law enforcement normally has more ... information, facts, than we have. We'll get as much as we possibly can."

Rice's lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press.

The 27-year-old Rice was charged with felony aggravated assault in the case, but in May he was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avoid jail time and could lead to the charge being purged from his record.

After Goodell drew criticism not being tough enough on Rice, in a letter to all 32 NFL owners in August he wrote, "My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values."

"I didn't get it right," he added. "Simply put, we have to do better. And we will."

First-time offenders now face a six-game suspension.

Rice began his suspension Sunday, when the Ravens opened their season with a 23-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He was scheduled to return after Thursday night's game against Pittsburgh. According to the terms of his suspension, Rice could not be with the team and must work out alone.

Rice hasn't spoken often to the media since his arrest, but on July 31 called his actions "inexcusable" and said this is "something I have to live with the rest of my life."

He added: "I know that's not who I am as a man. That's not who my mom raised me to be. If anybody knows me, they know I was raised by a single parent, and that was my mother. I let her down, I let my wife down, I let my daughter down. I let my wife's parents down. I let the whole Baltimore community down. I let my teammates down. I let so many people down because of 30 seconds of my life that I know I can't take back."

Ray Rice Contract Terminated After Punching Fiancée Video Released

Related story:
Fox News host jokes about video of Ray Rice knocking out his wife

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Baltimore Ravens terminated Ray Rice's contract in wake of assault video emergence

New York Jets — Michael Vick

As long as Michael Vick is in the NFL, he’ll be the most hated player on whatever team he plays for. While Vick has paid his debt to society, the crimes he committed don’t just disappear. As recently as a month ago, activists created a petition to ban Vick from Jets training camp. The Vick hate isn’t going to subside any time soon.

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New England Patriots — Tom Brady

Tom Brady has it all. Super Bowl rings, a mansion and a supermodel wife are just a few of the things this Patriot boasts. It’s easy to see why the average fan can’t relate to the star quarterback and, in turn, would dislike Brady. With all of his success, Brady is either admired or envied. His inclusion in this piece is an ode to the latter.

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Buffalo Bills — Marcell Dareus

In less than a month, Marcell Dareus was arrested twice (on May 5 and June 3). The first incident involved the use of a controlled substance, while the latter had to do with drag racing. Dareus subsequently showed up to training camp and failed a conditioning test. While he was out getting in trouble with the law, Dareus clearly wasn’t preparing for training camp in what could be a defining season for his team. The last few months have certainly hurt his image.

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St. Louis Rams — Kenny Britt

After originally coming into the league with the promise of a bright future, Kenny Britt has turned into one hot mess. Britt’s had over nine run-ins with the law. And earlier this year, the immature posted an Instagram video of an obscene sexual encounter that he had. Britt may be a famous professional athlete, but he isn’t above the law.

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Seattle Seahawks — Richard Sherman

Fans either love or hate Richard Sherman. The Super Bowl champion cornerback graduated from Stanford with a degree in communications and does charity work in his local community. He’s an all-around great guy. However, his arrogant displays make him easy to get tired of. It seems as though every other day, he’s spouting off about how he’s better than a certain player at his position.

And his ongoing war of words with WR Michael Crabtree is beginning to get a bit old.

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San Francisco 49ers — Aldon Smith

For as good as he’s been on the field, Aldon Smith has been frustratingly immature off the field. He’s twice been arrested for driving under the influence. And, most recently, he was detained and arrested at an airport after allegedly insinuating that he had a bomb. Smith is going to likely start off the 2014 season serving a lengthy suspension because of his transgressions and it’s unfortunate to see such a talented player throwing away a good part of his season because he can’t keep it together off the field.

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Arizona Cardinals — Carson Palmer

It seems that no matter what he does, Carson Palmer incurs hate from somewhere. Palmer was known for being a prima donna in Cincinnati and there were even rumors that Bengals fans trashed the signal caller’s lawn on No. 9’s way out of town. Quarterbacks of Palmer’s caliber typically stay with one team, but the signal caller has been on three different ballclubs in four years.

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Pittsburgh Steelers — Ben Roethlisberger

Of all of the players on this list, Ben Roethlisberger has one of the most convoluted off the field stories. The star quarterback has made a name for himself on the field with multiple Super Bowl titles, but he’s been accused of sexual assault twice. Roethlisberger’s checkered past makes him an easy add to the piece.

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Baltimore Ravens — Ray Rice

Up until this offseason, Ray Rice was one of the NFL’s most loved players. He routinely gave back to his hometown of New Rochelle, NY, and his play on the field was solid with the exception of a down year in 2013. However, Rice recently beat up on his wife and has since become a pariah in many circles. He’s surely a villain now.

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Cincinnati Bengals — Adam “Pacman” Jones

Pacman Jones has had an inordinate number of run-ins with the police, mostly near the beginning of his NFL career. Now, he’s quieted down and carved out a role as a solid member of the Bengals’ backfield, but he’s still the butt of many jokes because of his past transgressions. For example, Ludacris recently posted a picture on Instagram making light of Jones’ neck injury. Jones wasn’t too happy about it.

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Cleveland Browns — Johnny Manziel

“Johnny Football” has caused quite a stir without even taking a regular season snap for the Browns. After a college career full of recruiting violations, questionable decision making off the field and stellar play in the NCAA’s best conference, Johnny Manziel has taken his act to the NFL. He’s partied hard this offseason, which has given fans some pause. If he plays well on Sundays, all will be forgiven.

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Indianapolis Colts — Trent Richardson

Colts running back Trent Richardson was downright awful last season and he hasn’t lived up to the hype of being a high draft pick. Watching Richardson stumble during a dismal 2013 campaign, especially after the Colts traded a first round pick to acquire the rusher, made him an irritating example of high expectations not yet validated.

It may not be due to a lack of effort, but it certainly appears as such. Colts fans are not happy with him at the current time.

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Tennessee Titans — Bernard Pollard

I’m shocked that Bernard Pollard isn’t a New York Jet. He’s the one who injured Tom Brady back in 2008, injured Rob Gronkowski’s ankle a few years ago, injured Wes Welker during the receiver’s time in New England and knocked Stevan Ridley out cold during a playoff contest. A player who causes as many injuries as Pollard causes isn’t going to be loved. He’s a true villain, especially to opposing wide receivers.

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Jacksonville Jaguars — Justin Blackmon

It’s tough to say whether people dislike Justin Blackmon or feel bad for him. On July 24, he was arrested for the third time and all three arrests have included substance abuse. Whether it’s a DUI or possession of marijuana, Blackmon just keeps finding himself in trouble with law enforcement. Instead of being one of the only bright spots on a poor Jaguars team, the receiver is suspended indefinitely.

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Houston Texans — Brian Cushing

Any player suspected of using performance enhancing drugs isn’t going to be a fan favorite for very long. Athletes, like Cushing, who abuse substances compromise the integrity of the NFL. Cushing’s PED incident and subsequent suspension is very far in the past, but it’s still an unfortunate stain on his otherwise solid career.

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Oakland Raiders — Matt Schaub

Before the 2013 season, Matt Schaub was a highly-regarded quarterback known for his consistency. However, last season, he became a turnover machine. After starting off the year 2-0, Schaub lost eight games in a row and was ultimately yanked in favor of Case Keenum. Things got so bad that a Texans fan went to Schaub’s home and berated him for playing so terribly. Fittingly, Schaub’s a Raider now.

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Kansas City Chiefs — Kyle Williams

In the 2011 NFC Championship game, Kyle Williams cemented his status as a villain in the league and was blasted by Niners fans on Twitter. Filling in at punt returner for an injured Ted Ginn, Williams muffed two punts and his team ended up losing the game. Granted, San Francisco could have taken advantage of more scoring opportunities and won the game, but Williams’ gaffes on national television put him in the spotlight for all of the wrong reasons.

He spent the entirety of last season on injured reserve. And until he makes plays in the league again, he’ll remain in the doghouse.

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