Ray Rice won his appeal for reinstatement and is now free to sign with any NFL team that requires his services. Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com went out and stated the obvious, which is that while there is far from any guarantee that they will be interested, the team with the closest ties to Rice may be the Indianapolis Colts, thanks to their head coach Chuck Pagano’s relationship with the embattled running back when the two were with the Baltimore Ravens. While he certainly has a legitimate point, coupled with the fact that Ahmad Bradshaw’s injury has created a gaping hole in the backfield, I still do not expect to see the Colts sign Rice.
Apparently, according to multiple rumors, I may be in the minority in that one.
I don’t see any team signing Rice. Not in 2015, at least. Chris Wesseling of NFL.com was quick to point out that numerous players, such as Leonard Little, Donte Stallworth, Josh Brent, Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick all received second chances. It is true. They did receive second chances. Some flourished, while others struggled. Rice will undoubtedly receive a second chance. I just don’t see it taking place this season.
And I also don’t see it happening with the Colts.
Sure, the Colts could use an upgrade over Trent Richardson. Although, Dan ‘Boom” Herron looked alright last weekend. But, considering how Rice looked last season, is he truly an upgrade over Bradshaw to pair with Richardson? Also, considering the baggage he brings, is he worth signing?
Colts’ owner Jim Irsay is already a bit of a public relations nightmare. While the decision to sign a player such as Rice will come down to an owner’s ultimate approval, and while clearly Irsay must be a man who believes in second – and third and fourth and so on – chances, will he really suffer even more backlash from a league and community that already has strong feelings against him?
To me, the answer is no.
Of course, when Adrian Peterson is eligible to return from his suspension, that would make for another story.