As Ray Rice’s appeal is heard in New York it seems to be a matter of when , not if, he will be reinstated. If it turns out that the new NFL rules for 1st time offenders is enforced (6 game suspension) he could be eligible to be signed as soon as the hearings are complete.

Ray is 27 & coming off of his worst year as a pro, but pariah or not, if a team thinks he can still play & has a need (and can maybe get him cheap) they WILL sign him. NFL teams have proven time & time again that if you can play…you can play. Michael Vick anyone?

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So here are 5 possible destinations that could see Ray Rice in their uniform as early as this season.

5.  Oakland Raiders

C’mon, it’s the Raiders. Oakland & it’s bad boy image has been the landing spot for many wayward players over the years. The Raiders are 0-8 & the worst rushing team in league. Pretty ample motivation to roll the dice on Ray Rice.

4. Detroit Lions

The Lions are stacked with talent on Defense & have a great passing attack (when Megatron is healthy), but that running game….31st in the league. Ray may be somewhat similar to Reggie Bush in style, but would definitely be an upgrade over Joique Bell. They currently sit in 1st in the NFC North, but could have real interest in Rice to help stave off the 2nd half fade they have been famous for in recent years.

3. Buffalo Bills

The Bills are sitting in 2nd place in the AFC East & have 2 good runners in CJ Spiller & Fred Jackson, but both have been injured. Fred Jackson is on the verge of coming back while Spiller is still rehabbing. If the money was right Buffalo could take a chance on a low risk signing of Rice as an insurance policy.

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2. San Diego Chargers

San Diego is in the bottom 5 in rushing this season. Ryan Matthews is on the verge of returning from injury according to reports, but even when healthy has been ineffective & approaching bust status. Danny Woodhead is a good player, just not a starter in this league. Ray Rice could be very appealing to a team trying to keep pace with the Broncos (& Chiefs!) and who watched him convert 4th & 29 on his way to a Super Bowl ring.

1. New England Patriots

If there’s one Coach in the NFL that doesn’t care about what the media says or public opinion its Bill Belichick. He’s resurrected careers of perceived “Bad Apple” players before in Randy Moss & Corey Dillon & if he thinks Rice could help his team get back to the Super Bowl & take advantage of the down-slope of Tom Brady’s HOF career he’d sign him in a hot minute. Stevan Ridley is out for the year & the jury is still out on Shane Vereen’s ability to carry the load. Rice’s ability to catch balls out of the backfield fits the NE profile & it doesn’t hurt that Belichick is the GM!

 

Chris Spiridigliozzi
Web Administrator for CBS Radio Baltimore – Ravens, Orioles & snark enthusiast.

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