Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is taking “full responsibility” for his mistakes and hoping for a second chance in the NFL following an arbitrator’s decision to overturn his indefinite suspension for the assault of his now-wife in an Atlantic City casino.
Rice, who was reinstated to the NFL on Friday, spoke about his future in football during an interview that aired Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show.
Asked what it would take for a team to sign him, Rice said, “They would have to be willing to look deeper into who I am and realize that me and my wife had one bad night, and I took full responsibility for it. And one thing about my punishment and everything going along with anything that happened is that I’ve accepted it. I went fully forward with it. I never complained, or I never did anything like that. I took full responsibility for everything that I did, and the only thing I can hope for and wish for is a second chance.”
Accompanied by Janay and her parents during the interview, Rice also said he would be willing to “sacrifice” for his wife in the event that no team would want him.
“If I never play football again, I’ll be honest with you, I would adapt into life and I would sacrifice more so she can have a better future,” he said.
At least four teams have expressed interest in Rice, multiple league sources recently told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Two of those teams are the Colts and Saints, although neither team is expected to pursue him, sources told Schefter.
The NFC West-leading Cardinals also are not considering signing Rice, a league source told ESPN’s Ed Werder. Despite the hip injury suffered this past Sunday by starting running back Andre Ellington, the Cardinals have “no interest” in Rice, according to the source.
A source close to Rice told Werder that the priority is to have the three-time Pro Bowler signed with a team by this weekend.
Rice was suspended indefinitely Sept. 8 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after a video of him hitting Janay, his then-fiancée, emerged and began widely circulating. The Ravens released Rice that day. The incident occurred in February inside an elevator at an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino.
Rice said during the interview that he is “horribly sorry for everything that I have put my family through.”
“We all just want our lives back,” he said. “I realize football was one thing, but now I realize that the amount of people we’ve affected, the amount of families we’ve affected, that domestic violence is a real issue in society.
“We could take our one bad night, it just happened to be on video, but we are truly sorry to the people that are really going through it. You know, it’s a real problem. And I know when the time is right, I know my wife wants to help, I know I want to help.”
The Rices had a June meeting with Goodell, who initially issued a two-game suspension before increasing it to indefinite after the release of the in-elevator video.
Janay Rice told the “Today” show in a different interview that Goodell wasn’t being honest when he said her husband was “ambiguous” about hitting her.
“I know for a fact … that Ray told the honest truth that he’s been telling from February,” Janay Rice told the “Today” show in an interview that was broadcast Monday.
As for Goodell, she said: “I can’t say he’s telling the truth.”
Ray Rice acknowledged that he understands inquiries into whether prior instances of domestic violence had occurred with his wife.
“I truly understand that, and one thing you learn is that, we weren’t in a perfect relationship,” he said. “No relationship is perfect. We’ve had arguments, but when you talk about abuse, that’s something that we know that we’d never cross that path. … (The incident in the elevator) was just very uncharacteristic of myself. I take responsibility. That was very uncharacteristic.”
Watch Ray Rice’s interview below: