Former Ravens running back Ray Rice is still under suspension following the release of the elevator video of him hitting his now- wife, Jany. But there is a slim chance he can be reinstated to the NFL within the next month.
An appeal hearing date has been set, with a final decision expected to come in an expeditious manner thereafter, and all of that could be resolved by mid-November, which would conceivably allow Rice to sign with another team this season.
Former U.S. District Court Judge Barbara S. Jones is handling the appeal as a neutral, third-party arbitrator, and all sides in the case have agreed to a date to conduct the hearing in the near future. That date could change somewhat based on what Jones rules this week on some requests the NFLPA made to have certain materials available to them in discovery, but sources said Rice’s legal team has made it explicitly clear it has no desire to wait until the NFL and the NFLPA’s investigations are concluded to resolve the matter of this suspension appeal.
Rice has maintained he did not lie in his testimony to Commissioner Roger Goodell, and his legal team will make the case that even under the NFL’s new domestic violence policy, and as a first-time offender, Rice should be suspended a maximum of six games, which has already passed. Furthermore, they will make the argument that the video tape of Rice’s actions were available to the team and the league throughout the process of determining his discipline, and thus nothing changed whatsoever with the case from the time Rice was suspended two games, until eventually being suspended indefinitely, save for TMZ obtaining and posting the video.
Even if Rice is reinstated teams may not jump at the bit because he would appear to be a high risk to the team. What are your thoughts? Do you think if Rice wins the appeal that it is fair for him to be reinstated to the NFL?