Ray Rice Wins Appeal, Eligible to Sign

In this Aug. 7, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice sits on the sideline in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Baltimore. The Ravens have cut Ray Rice. Hours after the release of a video that appears to show Rice striking his then-fiancee in February, the team terminated his contract Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
 In this May 23, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, right, speaks alongside his wife, Janay, during a news conference, Friday, May 23, in Owings Mills, Md. Rice’s two-game suspension for domestic violence begins Saturday, a punishment handed down after grainy video showed him dragging his then-fiancee off a casino elevator unconscious Feb. 15. He has not divulged what happened in the elevator except to call his actions "totally inexcusable'' at a news conference after his suspension was announced. His assault charges could be expunged once he completes a diversion program. So the NFL gave him the only punishment he likely faces in a suspension and a fine that totals more than $500,000. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
In this May 23, 2014, file photo, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, right, speaks alongside his wife, Janay, during a news conference, Friday, May 23, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)


ESPN.com’s Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN’s Andrew Brandt and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter contributed to this report.

 

NEW YORK (ESPN.com)—Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has won his appeal of an indefinite suspension and has been reinstated to the NFL.

Rice is now eligible to sign with any NFL team.

“I would like to thank Judge Barbara Jones, the NFL Players Association, my attorneys, agents, advisors, family, friends and fans — but most importantly, my wife Janay,” Rice said in a statement released by the NFLPA on Friday. “I made an inexcusable mistake and accept full responsibility for my actions.

“I am thankful that there was a proper appeals process in place to address this issue. I will continue working hard to improve myself and be the best husband, father and friend, while giving back to my community and helping others to learn from my mistakes.”

Former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones, who heard Rice’s appeal earlier this month, concluded in her decision, which was obtained by ESPN, that Rice did not lie to or mislead NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

 

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