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Ravens GM: Ray Rice 'a big part' of team's plan next season

Ray Rice's attorney chalks up the incident to nothing more than a small "misunderstanding." (John Grieshop/Getty Images) In 2013, Ray Rice failed to reach 1,000 yards for the first time in four seasons. (John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said that running back Ray Rice still figures to be big part of the team next season despite Rice's weekend arrest.

Rice and his fiance were both arrested on a simple assault complaint on Saturday.

"When I left my office 20 minutes ago -- and (coach) John (Harbaugh) had probably been in there 15 minutes before then -- Ray Rice was still a big part of what we plan to do in 2014," Newsome said Monday, via NFL.com.

Rice had a down year in 2013, averaging only 3.1 yards a carry. He rushed for 660 yards, his lowest output since his rookie year. Rice has three years left on a five-year, $35 million deal he signed before the 2012 season.

SI WIRE: Report: Terrell Suggs, Ravens agree on contract extension through 2018

"I don't know the situation. I've only gotten what has been written. I have not had a chance to talk to Ray ... so I really don't know the situation, and up until ... I get all the answers, then that's when we make decisions within this organization -- once we get all the information we can get," Newsome said.
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