Ray Rice Released, Suspended Indefinitely

2:22pm: The Ravens were told a “softer” version of events than those shown on the video, tweets Judy Battista of NFL.com. That sounds to me like an attempt to save face, since it’s hard to imagine a “soft” version of an incident that led to Rice dragging his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator.

1:43pm: The NFL, which claimed not to have seen the most recent video before today, has announced Rice has been indefinitely suspended, according to league spokesman Greg Aiello (Twitter link).

1:34pm: In the wake of TMZ’s publication of a new video that shows Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée unconscious in an Atlantic City casino elevator, the running back has been released by the Ravens, the team announced today (Twitter link). Rice had been on track to return from his two-game suspension following the team’s game on Thursday against the Steelers, but now he’ll be looking for work. And as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets, it will likely be a long time – if ever – before another team signs him.

By releasing Rice, who had three years remaining on his contract, the Ravens will clear about $3.53MM in cap room for 2014, and will carry $9.5MM in dead money on their cap for the 2015 season. Of course, cap figures were hardly a consideration in the move, with the Ravens facing increased scrutiny for their support of Rice following the release of the new elevator footage.

As Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reported earlier today, the team claimed not to have seen the video before this morning, but a source said Rice described the incident in detail and that it was in line with how it played out on the security footage. In that case, it’s fair to question why the Ravens would back Rice for the last several months before deciding to cut him now under an avalanche of bad PR.

With Rice no longer on the roster, the Ravens figure to rely on Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett for the majority of their carries, with Lorenzo Taliaferro potentially in the mix as well.

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