The Ray Rice litigation tree officially has sprouted another branch.
Per multiple sources, Rice has filed a grievance against the Ravens challenging the team’s decision to terminate his contract on September 8. The Ravens cut Rice within hours after the video emerged of Rice striking his then-fiancée (now wife) in the head in an Atlantic City elevator.
Rice’s position is that the Collective Bargaining Agreement permits one punishment for infraction. In July, the NFL suspended Rice two games for the assault. Then, immediately after the video surfaced, the Ravens cut Rice and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.
If successful on both grievances, Rice would be eligible to receive $3.52 million from the Ravens. That’s the amount he would have earned if reinstated as of Week Three of the regular season.
Rice’s grievance against the NFL has been set for November 5 and 6. It’s unknown when the grievance against the Ravens will be resolved.
Regardless of Rice’s infraction, he has rights. The Ravens and/or the NFL knew or should have known exactly what he did when he was suspended by the league for two games. The move to cut him (by the team) and to suspend him indefinitely (by the league) obviously was driven by the intense public reaction to the elevator video. And while the moves may have won the Ravens and the NFL points in the court of public opinion, the team and the league arguably (or actually) screwed this up by not getting all of the pertinent evidence before suspending Rice in July.