Rice said teams have expressed interest in him and that he hopes to return to the NFL because he wants to “hang them up the right way.”
“The conversations that I had with them is more to understand the magnitude of my situation,” he said. “I know that it's a unique deal, so I just try to honestly live day to day and stay hopeful for that opportunity.”
After being charged with third-degree aggravated assault over a domestic violence incident with his then-fiancée Janay in Feb. 2014, Rice was originally suspended from the NFL for the first two games of the 2014-15 season. He avoided jail time by entering a pre-trial intervention program for first-time offenders.
After the release of a videotape showing Rice striking Janay, the NFL indefinitely suspended him, and the Ravens terminated his contract. Rice won his appeal of the ban and was subsequently reinstated into the league.
In April, Rice told New York magazine he is a changed man and is ready to resume his playing career.
An ESPN report from July indicated that the three-time Pro Bowler and a “group of supporters,” including ex-Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, Rice’s college coach at Rutgers, have been lobbying on his behalf to various NFL teams. The report says that Rice, 28, has been working out daily in Connecticut.
According to the report, one team “seriously considered” making Rice an offer before team ownership became “uncomfortable” due to the potential public backlash of signing him. Despite new contracts for the reinstated Adrian Peterson (Vikings) and Greg Hardy (Cowboys), there has reportedly been little interest around the league in adding Rice.
- Kayla Lombardo, Scooby Axson and Jeremy Woo