While most presume if Ray Rice ever returns to an NFL field, it won’t be until the 2015 season at the earliest. Nevertheless, there’s always the possibility, however remote, that some team is willing to endure a short-term public relations nightmare if it means having a three-time Pro Bowl running back on their roster during a late-season run for a playoff spot. Yes, it’s extremely cynical, but then so is everything else about the NFL.
Now here’s the part where I tell you that four teams have reportedly expressed at least some interest in signing the former Ravens running back. According to Adam Schefter:
At least four teams have expressed interest in recently reinstated running back Ray Rice, including Indianapolis and New Orleans, though the Colts are not expected to pursue him, according to multiple league sources.
Two sources declined to identify the other two teams that have been checking into Rice.
I would love to hear how the source from the Colts explained that one to Schefter. “Yeah, I mean we’re interested in having Rice but not willing-to-put-ourselves-through-hell interested. We still get grief for our owner being suspended, for crying out loud.”
NFL front office employees, still the type of people who will anonymously tell access reporters that they wouldn’t sign Michael Sam because he’d be too much of a distraction, but would give serious consideration to bringing on an older running back whose name is basically synonymous with domestic abuse.