Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice issued a statement apologizing for his domestic-violence incident at a New Jersey casino one year ago.
In the message issued to The Baltimore Sun, Rice apologized for the incident and thanked his fans and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti for their support.
“From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown my family and I throughout my football career,” he wrote. “We’ll always be grateful for the love we’ve received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl.”
Rice continued on saying he was sorry for letting down the kids who looked up to him. He then continued on to say “there is no excuse for domestic violence and I apologized for the horrible mistake I made.”
Since the incident, Rice’s career has been stuck in limbo. His $35 million contract with Baltimore was terminated and he did not find work after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reinstated him in November.
The odds for Rice returning to the league seem to be slim. The New York Post reports Rice has not worked out for any teams so far this offseason.
“I would be surprised if Ray doesn’t get a second chance,” former NFL general manager Charley Casserly, a consultant for the New York Jets and an NFL Network analyst told The Baltimore Sun.
“It all comes down to if they think he can help their team win and if he’s taken the proper measures to correct himself. Michael Vick was out of the league and it didn’t look good for him, but he showed he could change and had reformed his behavior. That’s what Ray has to do.”
Rice’s future employer will more than likely have to brace for a negative reaction from domestic violence support groups among other entities if they choose to sign the running back.
Rice and his then-girlfriend were involved in an incident at a New Jersey casino last February. A video obtained by TMZ purportedly showed Rice dragging Janay Palmer out of an elevator.
The incident prompted a suspension, Rice’s release from the Ravens and harsher domestic violence penalties issued by the NFL.