One of the teams most desperate for competency at the running back position is the Indianapolis Colts, and they were on the list of front runners for Ray Rice‘s services, should any team target him for the stretch run.
The Colts would have been an ideal landing spot from Rice’s perspective as well, writes Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter). La Canfora qualifies that by admitting Rice wouldn’t have much say in where he goes, if he gets any opportunity at all.
La Canfora does cite Rice’s excellent relationship with head coach Chuck Pagano from their time together in Baltimore as one reason for the fit, as well as the locker room support of former teammates Cory Redding and Arthur Jones (via Twitter). Rice makes his home in New Rochelle, not a far trip from Indianapolis, which would ease the transition. The team needs desperately to find someone who can contribute in pass protection and in the screen game, two areas that Rice excelled in with the Ravens (via Twitter).
Another caveat is the recent troubles of owner Jim Irsay. La Canfora believes that Irsay’s recent transgressions and his humility in asking the fan base for a second chance would make him more likely to sympathize with Rice’s situation, which would provide an easier path for an owner to be willing to take on the negative publicity (via Twitter).
Still, Michael Grady of 1070 ESPN Radio doesn’t believe Rice will succeed with the Colts if he were signed, due to the team’s struggling offensive line (via Twitter). He doesn’t see Rice as the type of back to be able to make something out of nothing, which is what the Colts’ offensive line is giving the team in the running game.
All of this is probably moot, because the Colts stated they were not interested in Rice as recently as ten days ago, reports Ed Werder of ESPN (via Twitter). While that was a week and a half ago, it was still after the injury to Ahmad Bradshaw that left the team reeling at the position. Werder did admit that he was unsure if the club’s stance had changed.