Before Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti considers giving Ray Rice another job, Bisciotti may want to wait to see whether Rice tries to extract more cash for the job Rice already has had.
Per multiple sources, Rice still may pursue a grievance against the Ravens for terminating his contract in the hours following the release of the notorious elevator video.
The argument would mirror the position Rice and the NFLPA will take regarding the indefinite suspension imposed by the league office. Rice already had received a punishment for the assault on his then-fiancée, now wife. When Commissioner Roger Goodell imposed a two-game suspension, both the team and the league knew or should have known all relevant facts regarding his off-field misconduct.
The knee-jerk reaction from both the team and the league after video evidence of what they’d already known he’d done — knocked out Janay Palmer Rice — may have been the right move from a P.R. standpoint, but under the labor deal both moves arguably constitute a second punishment.
Rice was due to earn a base salary of $4 million this year. With $470,588 deducted for the two-game suspension he didn’t appeal, Rice would be eligible for the remaining $3.52 million — if he prevails on the pending grievance attacking his indefinite suspension and if he wins on an eventual grievance challenging the team’s decision to cut him loose.
While Rice had only three days to appeal the indefinite suspension imposed by the league, Rice has at least 50 days to appeal the Ravens’ decision to cut him loose.
Some of you may be saying, “Wait, isn’t he allowed to collect the balance of his salary as termination pay, since he’s a vested veteran?” Because he was never on the active roster for the Ravens on or after Week One of the 2014 season, Rice isn’t eligible for termination pay.
So, instead, he’ll have to challenge his termination in order to get paid.
If Rice prevails, he will have pocketed $29 million in three seasons from the Ravens, an annual average that running backs rarely realize in today’s NFL.