“We have been around a lot of abusive men, but our experience with Ray has been tremendously positive,” Porter told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “We feel strongly about him having the opportunity of having a second chance. He’s deserving of it.”
Rice promised last year that he and his wife, Janay, would work to increase awareness of the problem of domestic abuse and Porter and Bunch say he has done that.
“He’s held himself accountable,” Bunch said. “He is saying everything that you would want him to say and doing everything that you would want him to do. So why wouldn’t he deserve another chance? His work in the area of educating young men is more important than him getting back on the field. He knows that and has said that to us. He is seeing the bigger picture. He has a desire to compete again, but also to make a difference in the world. This is what mistakes should be about: learning from them and teaching others. We’ve been in front of a lot of batterers. He is as transparent as I’ve seen, and as sincere as I’ve seen.”
Rice won the appeal of his sentence Dec. 1, but no team has taken a flyer on him. His performance dropped off in 2013 and running backs have short-lived careers. Rice had dealing with a hip injury and underwent surgery. Now Schefter cites a Baltimore Ravens executive who says he looks strong again. Behind the scenes, Rice and his former Rutgers coach, Greg Schiano, have been calling teams, ESPN’s Ed Werder reports.
With training camps opening, now is the perfect time to see if he can still play. That is what will determine whether he can return to the NFL.