Ray Rice Should Wait Until The Offseason To Sign With A Team
Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was reinstated from his suspension last week for domestic violence. Rice was suspended indefinitely on September 8th for hitting his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in a elevator in a Atlantic City Casino, back in February. The Baltimore Ravens released Rice right after the NFL announced his indefinite suspension. Now that he is reinstated he is free to sign with any team that is willing to sign him.
According to ESPN as many as 4 teams have looked into signing the 27 year old Ray Rice. The Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints have been linked to Rice as recently as last week. Signing with them could hurt Rice in the future. The Colts have former first round pick Trent Richardson on the team and next year they will get Ahmad Bradshaw back from injury. Bradshaw is a free agent next year; the Colts might want to bring him back since he did so well in their offense. Rice could be stuck in a three man rotation. Then in New Orleans they already have Mark Ingram on the team, but Ingram is a free agent at the end of the year. If Ingram leaves the Saints in the offseason, Rice could become the Saints the full time starter next year.
I think Rice would be better off waiting until the offseason to sign with a team. Almost every team in the NFL could be looking for a new running back next year. I’ll list all 32 teams and a reason if they will sign Rice:
Arizona Cardinals - Most likely not, since they have Andre Ellington as their starter. Unless he doesn’t mind being a backup.
Atlanta Falcons - Steven Jackson is not getting any younger.
Baltimore Ravens - No chance they release him to bring him back.
Buffalo Bills - They were high on C.J. Spiller when they drafted him but hasn’t done much since. Fred Jackson is getting older and has his history of injuries too.
Carolina Panthers - They could use a full time starter instead of using the two running backs they have
Chicago Bears - No chance, it’s the Matt Forte show in Chicago. He would be a backup.
Cincinnati Bengals - No chance since they have Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard.
Cleveland Browns - The Browns already released Ben Tate but they still have Terrence West and Isaiah Crowell
Dallas Cowboys - If Demarco Murray leaves as a free agent, this could be one of Ray Rice’s best places to go then.
Denver Broncos - I don’t see Denver taking a chance on Rice. It doesn’t matter who is running back in Denver with Peyton under center.
Detroit Lions - The Lions have three running backs they don't need any more.
Green Bay Packers - No chance, they already have Eddie Lacy and James Starks.
Houston Texans - The Texans have Arian Foster but with his injury history it might not be a bad idea to bring in Rice to help. The still have Alfred Blue also.
Indianapolis Colts - If Bradshaw doesn’t resign then yes bring in Rice.
Jacksonville Jaguars - They might have found their future running back in Denard Robinson. Also with Toby Gerhart getting healthier they don't need Rice.
Kansas City Chiefs - No chance, not with Jamaal Charles in town. He would be a backup.
Miami Dolphins - Rice to Miami is possible. They signed Knowshon Moreno to a one year deal last year but he is out for the year. Lamar Miller has played well though.
Minnesota Vikings - I don’t see the Vikings releasing the troubled Adrian Peterson to pick up another legal troubled Ray Rice.
New England Patriots - I also like the idea of Rice to the Patriots. Steven Ridley and Shane Vereen are both free agents at the end of the season. Bill Belichick is not afraid to bring in players with legal pasts.
New Orleans Saints - As I said earlier if Ingram leaves then Rice to the Saints is smart.
New York Giants - I don’t see this one happening since they just signed Rashard Jennings and they still have Andre Williams.
New York Jets - They need a quarterback first. Chris Ivory has been playing well. Running back is the Jets least concern.
Oakland Raiders - If Latavius Murray plays well towards the end then no chance of signing Rice.
Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles have too many running backs with LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles.
Pittsburgh Steelers - The Steelers could look at Rice to help Le’Veon Bell from carrying the ball so much. It would like what they signed LeGarrette Blount to do that this year.
St. Louis Rams - They like Tre Mason but if Rice wants to be a backup then yes.
San Diego Chargers - Ryan Mathews is a free agent. He also has a fair share of injury history. Rice should sign there no matter if Mathews comes back or not.
San Francisco 49ers - Frank Gore is a free agent. They also drafted Carlos Hyde so Rice would have to be a backup.
Seattle Seahawks - Rice could be a nice addition depending on what happens with Marshawn Lynch.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Buccaneers have tried Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey and Charles Sims. Why not try Ray Rice?
Tennessee Titans - They drafted Bishop Sankey in the first round last year. They are going to give him at least another season as starter.
Washington Redskins - Just like the Jets, the Redskins need a quarterback. They have Alfred Morris but adding Rice could help. Morris doesn’t catch out of the backfield and Rice does.
Ray Rice will definitely have more options this offseason to pick from if he waits a few more months to sign with a team. The only teams I see not taking a chance on Rice are the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens. From now until then it should be interesting to see who takes a shot at Rice. It could be a bit of a risk to be the first to sign him, but the reward on the field could be worth it.