On Now
Coming Up
  • Mon., Aug. 01, 2016 7:00 PM EDT Training Camp Military Appreciation Day The first M&T Bank Stadium practice will take place on Monday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. This practice – free and open to all fans – coincides with the Ravens’ annual Military Appreciation Day. Approximately 3,500 special seats will be reserved for active service members and veterans who present valid military identification upon check-in at the stadium.
  • Sat., Aug. 06, 2016 6:00 PM EDT Training Camp Fireworks Night On Saturday, Aug. 6 at 6 p.m., the second M&T Bank Stadium practice will showcase the organization’s third-annual Fireworks Night, an event highlighted by post-practice autographs for children and a fireworks/laser show.
  • Fri., Sep. 09, 2016 5:00 PM EDT Countdown To Kickoff Party Presented By Miller Lite Grammy Award®-nominated rock band 3 DOORS DOWN will perform at the Ravens Countdown to Kickoff Party Presented by Miller Lite on Friday, Sept. 9 at Maryland State Fairgrounds. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Open to all ages.
  • Mon., Oct. 03, 2016 5:00 PM EDT A Purple Evening A Purple Evening is back! Join Purple on Monday, October 3rd for on-field drills, player appearances and autographs, giveaways, and much more! Tickets will go on sale soon. Check Purple-Just for Women on Facebook for the latest club and event information.
  • Sun., Oct. 23, 2016 7:30 AM EDT Purple Away Game Trip Up the Jersey Turnpike we go! Hit the road with the Purple Club on Sunday, October 23rd to watch our Baltimore Ravens take on the New York Jets for a 1:00 p.m. game at MetLife Stadium. Don't miss your chance to join the only NFL women's fan club to travel into unfamiliar territory!
  • Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 2:00 PM EST Army vs. Navy Football Don't miss one of the greatest events you can ever attend! The Army-Navy Game presented by USAA returns to M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, December 10, 2016

News

Print
RSS

Eisenberg: History Show Ravens Will Support Ray Rice

Posted Feb 22, 2014

History with Ray Lewis, Jamal Lewis and Terrell Suggs suggests the Ravens will ride out the Rice situation.

There's no telling where Ray Rice's situation might go in the coming months, but for those who think the Ravens could end up cutting him, I wouldn't count on it.

Yes, like any team, the Ravens want to suit up players their fans can root for, and if the evidence in Rice's situation ends up being too ugly to bear, the Ravens would have no choice.

But a check of their history in these cases is instructive.

Fifteen years ago, Ray Lewis was in a terrible mess in Atlanta. He wound up bargaining a charge and was assessed a massive fine by the league. Did the Ravens cut him? No. They let the legal case unfold. They let the league do its thing. Then they put him back in the middle of their defense and won a Super Bowl a year later.

Jamal Lewis, the Ravens' all-time rushing leader, faced federal drug charges and spent four months in prison in 2005. Did the Ravens cut him? No, they let the legal case unfold. They let the league office do its thing. Then they gave him his job back. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards a year later.

The Ravens don't necessarily give every player such a long strand of rope. In the late 1990s, they parted way with a young safety named Ralph Staten after a handgun violation, a DUI and too many missed meetings.

But generally, their default position is to support their guys in tough times, especially if the player has built up a lot of goodwill in the organization, as Rice has with his community service and Pro Bowl performances.

That's not to condone what allegedly unfolded between Rice and his fiancée last weekend. Domestic violence is a terrible problem. It's never acceptable for a man to strike a woman – or a woman to strike a man for that matter.

But we don't know the entirety of what happened that evening, as opposed to what snippets of video seem to indicate. It's premature to make any judgments about what, in the end, is a terribly sad situation for Rice and his family. I wouldn't begin to speculate until more facts are gathered and presented.

Having said that, when I hear people clamoring for the Ravens just to cut him, I do understand the emotion. He didn't play well in 2013. This incident only adds to the perception that perhaps something has gone wrong.

But it would surprise me if the Ravens got that emotional. Their methodology is to gather as many facts as possible and then consider the context. Is there a pattern of such behavior? Is the player more trouble than he is worth?

The Ravens are in the business of winning football games, nothing else. Sure, they want to forge an upstanding reputation in the community, but taking moral stands or making judgments about their players' personal lives is not their thing. Their reputation is based mostly on whether they win.

Cutting Rice would cost them $14 million against the salary cap over the next two years, severely hampering their ability to field a winning team. That alone probably precludes them from parting ways with him. But even without that factored it, their history suggests they're more likely to take a deep breath, ride out the situation with Rice and then see if he can still help them on the field.

----------

It was reported this week that the league's salary cap limit is now projected to be quite a bit higher in 2014 – $130 million or so, representing a seven percent increase.

Every team potentially benefits from this. They'll all have more room to retain their own players and grab others on the open market.

The Ravens stand to benefit more than most, I would argue. Their track record indicates that they're pretty good at navigating the cap and finding deals in the marketplace, i.e., getting the most bang for their buck.

Since they employ their share of good players and always spend to the limit, a lower cap has forced their hand in a lot of situations. Now, they might not have to make quite as many tough decisions. For instance, if this spike had occurred a year ago, they probably could have held onto Anquan Boldin. Imagine that.

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos