Ray Rice has said that he is very interested in returning to the NFL after his domestic violence scandal in 2014, but he has decided to take that interest to an entirely new level.
According to Today’s Pigskin, Rice has said that if an NFL team signs him for the upcoming 2016 season, he will donate his entire salary to domestic violence charities.
“All the scrutiny that I’ve got, it was deserved, because domestic violence is a horrible thing. Me donating my salary is something that will be from the heart for me. I only want to play football so I can end it the right way for my kids and for the people that really believed in me.
“But I know there’s a lot of people affected by domestic violence, and every dollar helps. It’s raising awareness…people need homes. People need shelter when they’re in a crucial situation. I’ve donated a lot of money to charities, but I had a situation where it was a national crisis.
“I’m not saying I’d be (donating the salary) to get on the field, but it’s something that will show where my heart is. My heart is about finishing the right way and helping people along the way.”
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If a team signed Ray Rice for the veteran’s minimum, he would be paid approximately $885,000 next season, which would make for a sizeable donation in the fight against domestic violence.
Ray Rice was a top-flight NFL running back who last played for the Baltimore Ravens in 2013, but his whole world changed in February, 2014, after he was caught on video punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, as reported by CNN. Palmer appeared to be knocked unconscious, and the video showed Rice dragging her out of the elevator after the attack.
The NFL investigated the matter and placed Ray Rice on indefinite suspension. However, in December of 2014, Rice won his appeal of the suspension and was reinstated by the league. Since that time, no NFL team has signed the five-foot-nine, 195-pound running back, even though he has made it clear that he wants to make amends and return to football.
Prior to this unfortunate incident, Ray Rice was a respected member of the NFL community and his ascension to become one of the top running backs in the league was considered a feel-good story. Rice came from a school not known for producing elite NFL talent (Rutgers University), but became a second-round pick (55th overall) of the Baltimore Ravens after his storied career for the Scarlet Knights.
Ray Rice played six seasons for Baltimore, earning three NFL Pro Bowl nods. His best year came in 2011, when Rice led the NFL in yards from scrimmage (2,068). He rushed for 1,364 yards, posting an impressive 4.7 yards per carry average, and caught 76 passes for another 704 yards that season.
The last season Rice played in the NFL, 2013, was arguably his most disappointing. He struggled with injuries, despite playing in all but one of Baltimore’s regular season games. He only gained 660 yards on the ground that year, and averaged a career-low 3.1 yards per attempt. As difficult as that season was for Rice, his problems were only beginning.
Ray Rice was once one of the best players in the NFL, but his last season was a poor one, and he has been out of football for over two years. If you were an NFL general manager, after all that’s happened, would you be willing to take a chance on Ray Rice?
[Photo by Gene J. Puskar/AP Images]