With the NFL introducing a new domestic violence policy that includes the possibility of a lifetime ban for a second offense, an obvious question arises regarding Ravens running back Ray Rice.
Does Rice’s first offense, which was handled so badly that the NFL had to tear up the entire policy, count as a “first offense” under the new policy, putting him in line for the far more serious penalties that apply to a second offense?
Via Clifton Brown of CSNBaltimore.com, the league has declined to respond to that question.
“We are not going to address that,” an NFL spokesman told Brown. “Each case will be addressed individually on its merits.”
The NFL spokesman also declined to address whether Rice’s suspension could be increased from two games to six under the new policy.
The notion that each case will be addressed on its merits represents another way of saying, “We’ll decide what we want to do in each given case.” And that’s a subtle but real difference from the adherence to “precedent” that the NFL cited in initially defending the decision to suspend Rice for only two games.