THURSDAY, 6:55pm: A source tells theMMQB.com’s Robert Klemko that Atlantic City police have an unreleased video of Rice knocking his fiancée unconscious before dragging her (via Twitter). Klemko said he expects a suspension for Rice.
MONDAY, 1:32pm: Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome says running back Ray Rice will be back with the team in 2014, and remains a “big part” of the team’s plans, according to Matt Zenitz of the Carroll County Times. Rice was arrested Saturday as part of a domestic dispute, and his off-the-field trouble only adds to his recent struggles. Rice, 27, is coming off his worst statistical season as a starter, as he rushed for just 660 yards and four touchdowns, and ranked as the worst running back in the league according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics. As he enters the third year of a five-year-deal, one could speculate that his roster spot might be in jeopardy, but Newsome seemingly squashed this notion, only allowing that the organization was not finished gathering information on the incident.
Some other Ravens-centric news items:
- ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley summarizes Rice’s recent troubles, and notes that the Ravens would not receive any cap room even if they released Rice. If Rice continues to struggle next season, the Ravens could cut him June 1 and save $3MM.
- In a separate piece, Hensley examines the Ravens’ options for the franchise tag, and comes up with only one answer: tight end Dennis Pitta. The Ravens are extremely thin at tight end, as Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark are also free agents. As we covered yesterday, Pitta might be able to make the case that he should be tagged as a wide receiver.
- Hensley also writes that offensive tackle Eugene Monroe is not a candidate to be franchise-tagged because the Ravens don’t feel he is worth the projected $11MM tender.
- The Terrell Suggs extension creates more financial opportunities for the Ravens, writes Brent Sobleski of USA Today. Monroe is a likely candidate for extension, as fellow lineman Michael Oher is not expected to be retained, and the Ravens cannot afford to lose both their starting tackles.
- Bo Smolka of CSNBaltimore.com analyzes the state of the Raven’s defensive line, writing that Arthur Jones is as good as gone. Defensive tackle Terrence Cody could return, but the Ravens will not overspend to keep him.