I promised to write a second Ray Rice article this week. I needed to get the initial story about Janay out of the way before we talked straight up and down football. Fortunately, that time is now. Here is your emotion free breakdown of if Ray Rice will play football again and if so what team may need him.
Ray Rice’s potential is our starting point. Yes, he was in a fair bit of trouble over the elevator incident but he is reinstated now. He is eligible to sign with any team in the NFL. Approaching Week 13 there are definitely teams that could use fresh blood. Those teams that have suffered injuries, disappointing players and are pushing for the playoffs are numerous. However, how much Rice could offer a team on the football level has to be considered and is the reason this list will look so dismal.
Ray Rice averaged a desolate 3.1 yards per carry last year. He had the worst success rate for a running back. He looked like he was running around with a snowsuit on. He is also 27 now. This is the age when running backs start edging their way into the pasture of retirement. Of course, he was previously a star running back when he ran for around 1000 yards every season. But who says there is anything left in the tank for a team this season?
The Colts would make the most sense. They lost Bradshaw to a broken leg in November and Trent Richardson is wet trash. T. Rich has something in common with Rice- a horrible yards per carry with an average of 3.3 yards. Head Coach Pagano also knows Ray from his time with the Ravens. However, it was reported that despite all this they aren’t interested.
The Saints are also on this list. It was reported that the Saints expressed interest in signing him when he was initially reinstated. The Saints have way more fire power at the RB position than Indy. They have Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Khiry Robinson returning soon from an arm injury. Maybe Payton wanted some extra help in the backfield just cause? Either way reports now say that the Saints are no longer interested.
The Cardinals rank 31st in the league in rushing yards per game. That’s a pretty good reason to have interest. They tried to nab Tate off waivers but ended up getting Michael Bush off the street. Andrew Ellington also now has a hip issue. Not to mention that Jonathan Dwyer isn’t playing either. Here’s the thing though, Dwyer is listed on the non-football list because he was arrested for domestic violence. With Dwyer facingt this charge the Cards can’t afford to take on another potential problem. They have declined having any interest in Rice now.
The Lions are having issues keeping a full stable of healthy RBs, but who isn’t. Reggie Bush has shoddy ankles, but Bell and Riddick were productive on Thanksgiving. The team has also denied having interest in Rice.
The Broncos don’t need him with C.J. Anderson now becoming effective.
Same goes for the Bills that are getting C.J. Spiller back. And the Patriots that have Jonas Gray off the practice squad and a new deal with Blount. Ryan Matthews is back for the Chargers and racking up good numbers.
What does this all mean?
Well, it probably means that no one is going to sign Ray Rice in the 2014 season.
Maybe he will get picked up to start fresh in the following season much like Michael Vick was once he was reinstated. Or perhaps he was too unimpressive last season and too controversial this season to ever play in the NFL again.