Ray Rice is still hoping to return to the NFL, though he says he's running out of time.

Rice has not played in the league since being suspended at the start of the 2014 season for domestic violence. He told NJ.com on Thursday he knows he probably won't get another opportunity.

''I don't want to ever say I'm giving up, because that's never going to be me,'' Rice said before playing in Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton's charity softball game. ''I'm happy. I'm in the best shape of my life, and I know if it doesn't happen this year, it's probably something I have to deal with. But you know what? It's not the end of my life.

''I know that the window for playing is closing. But if my window closes, I'm going to make sure I open up a thousand more opportunities for kids, to give them an opportunity to pick up where I left off. That's where I'm at. I've got three Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl. There's a lot of people that can't go out there and do what I did. But I don't want it to end that way, it's safe to say.''

Rice was suspended indefinitely by the NFL in September 2014 and was released by the Ravens when a video surfaced of him punching his then-fiancee in an elevator. His suspension was later overturned by a neutral arbitrator, but he hasn't signed with another team.

The 29-year-old Rice played six seasons for Baltimore. He ran for 6,180 yards and 37 TDs.