Steve Bisciotti: After 14 good years as owner, I had an absolute crappy year


Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti met the media as part of the team’s state of the franchise press conference on Tuesday and said that 2014 had been his worst year as an owner.

The handling of the Ray Rice case was at the top of the list of reasons why things were difficult in Baltimore, but there were other arrests as well and the sum total of the negatives left a black mark on the organization. Bisciotti said that he’d had 14 good years as an owner before the “absolute crappy year” that just ended.

“I think things come in waves, and we certainly took a crash here last year,” Bisciotti said. “There isn’t a lot you can do. I think that we are a team and an organization that cares, obviously, about our reputation, and when it takes a hit, then you examine what you do. But in order to take a hit to your reputation, you have to have a pretty good reputation to start with, and we did. So now it’s about proving that it was an aberration, and we believe that to be the case.”

Bisciotti said he didn’t regret initially supporting Rice and keeping him on the roster after he entered a pre-trial intervention program to avoid more serious penalties for punching his wife in the face. Bisciotti also said he didn’t regret reversing course in September when more evidence that Rice punched his wife in the face was made available for him to watch, although he conceded it left room for people to scrutinize the team’s decisions.

The experience isn’t leading the team to make a decision about security director Darren Sanders’ future. Sanders is on paid leave while facing sex offense and assault charges and Bisciotti said Sanders’ job is waiting for him.

“Wait until the investigation is complete,” Bisciotti said. “There’s virtually nothing we can do. The league is looking into it, the Baltimore police are looking into it, and that will be cleared up sometime in April or May. But we believe in Darren [Sanders], so we’re all very supportive of him, and [the nameplate] sign is still on his door. We’ll address that when we get some information, but right now we don’t have any.”

Bisciotti said the team’s success on the field helped bolster him after the rough year off of it and he surely hopes next year’s state of the franchise update can spend more time on the football side of things.

75 responses to “Steve Bisciotti: After 14 good years as owner, I had an absolute crappy year

  1. It was the best of times….it was the worst of times. BTW, thanks for deflategate, jerks. You got what you deserved.

  2. Before we start getting all the disparaging comments from those who are gonna hate, I will say this. Steve Bisciotti has been an owner – or part owner – of my local football team for 15 years. As a season ticketholder, I am his prime consumer. Looking at every NFL owner, I would take him over any other owner in the NFL – and that includes Bob Kraft. He leaves the football people alone to do their jobs, and he’s right way more often than he’s wrong. Ten playoff appearances in 19 years and six in the last seven years don’t lie.

  3. He even left out the part about his sore loser coaching staff conspiring to set up the Patriots.

  4. Pretty rare in football or society for someone in power to admit fault. About anything. I’m not a Ravens fan, but this is refreshing and likely a good 1st step to healing.

  5. Not sure that they had a good reputation as Bisciotti says. Many of us will remember the murderer at linebacker.

  6. Maybe if you hadn’t helped cover up Rice’s assault it might have been a little better.

  7. I would have been more satisfied with the platitudes of “we need to do better”. Non specific and phony, at least he wouldn’t be asking for us to be moved by his trying year.
    Geez man, it must be hard paying over 50 millionaires salaries each year. It is hard to believe the private jets and hot ‘personal assistants’ don’t assuage some of that sorrow.

  8. The Ravens also said that they handled the Ray Rice problem like he was in a bar fight. Hopefully now they get it, only how they handle things going forward will help. Gave themselves a big black eye with their off season last year. I feel for anyone on the roster that gets even a speeding ticket going forward.

  9. Awww, what happened, Stevie? Were you brutally assaulted in an elevator, dragged across the floor like a bag of garbage and then ruthlessly exploited by a league of privileged men to protect their profits?

  10. Geez Steve, I’m real sorry to hear that. Go roll around in a pile of money, that will ease your stress over the transgressions (some alleged) of those in your organization.

  11. Never mind that whole Ray Lewis thing a few years back, right? Most classless franchise in sports. Hands. Down.

  12. When it comes out that Ravens coach John Harbaugh was the propelling influence in a conspiracy to discredit another organization, your 2015 will be much worse than 2014.

  13. Doing the math, his first year or two overlapped with the Ray Lewis arrest. I suppose winning the Super Bowl made that a great year?

  14. Steve – It’s going to get a lot worse. The Ravens are finally in salary cap hell from overpaying for players like Joe Flacco. They are carrying large dead cap hits on lots of players and are likely to lose some key players.
    NFL fans will be surprised but they are in trouble. So is New Orleans. And there isn’t a simple solution.

  15. What a lying sack this guy is. You tried to cover up the Rice thing and when you got caught doing so, you panicked. You then lost an appeal and subsequently caved on a lawsuit because when you went into panic mode, you violated Rice’s contract. You’ve got a long reputation of supporting clowns as long as they produce on the field and the public doesn’t see videos of their behavior. You’re not fooling anyone. #loser

  16. It’s nice that Bisciotti does the state of the Ravens address to the fans and media. A lot of teams don’t even bother. Of course this also brings out the idiots and moronic comments from the cynics and haters. Keep hating while you watch the Ravens back in the playoffs once again next season .

  17. haters keep hating..the cap problem is about to be taken care of.. see some of you in playoffs,most of you its back to your teams usual losing!

  18. I’m a Pats fan and I like him, he’s a great owner. The franchise has had a lot of stability and success with him, and is competitive every year. The Ray Lewis statue was a bit much, though. Plus it looks like he’s walking on hot coals.

  19. He showed his true character when, several days after the NFL phone recording exposed Goodell for lying to the country, he did a MNF interview and claimed the tape had not been authenticated.

  20. Poor RICH guy, hires a coach who did not knows the rules. Same coach lets the other team come back from a 14 point defi it, not once, but twice. He sure supports his two Rays, one for buying a white Suit, and the other for giving his GF a love tap. Now follow your heart, give Rice another $$$$ contract, say $15 million a year for five years, show him you still support him……

  21. Well the we treated domestic violence like a barroom brawl quote is a bit scary. How many of us have been in a bar fight….most. how many of us punch their wife or gf….hopefully none.

  22. To the fans that think this is somehow honorable…..HE’S LYING!! Option 1 – he covered up the Rice story and TMZ busted him. This IS what happened and it’s plainly obvious…or…. Option 2 – He somehow can not put two and two together and understand that an unconscious woman laying on the ground = she got her ass kicked.

    So you either get slimy liar, or complete moron.

    I can not believe how many idiots are just letting this guy off the hook. Even when he is trying to “come clean” he lies his ass off.

    Just stick to being a billionaire and keep your nose out of the public eye. It just makes you look worse.

  23. Nothing like a good PFT story to start my day realizing idiocy of mankind, but more important of the people who follow this site.

    Of the many comments here, murderer, cover-up, salary cap hell, it goes on and on, how much people don’t know.

    Let’s review the cover up comments…funny!!!

    The man was arrested for assault (public record). He faced the legal system in NJ and received a disposition by the court for his assault charge (public record). A video (a very terrible video) comes out showing the assault (public domain). The Ravens never said it didn’t happen…Never! Where is the cover up?

    Now, if you want to say the Ravens down played the assault. Guilty! If you want to say they lobbied the NFL for a light punishment. Guilty! Did they believe way too much of what RR told them? Guilty! But use the right words when making your accusations. A cover up it was not! Spin yes. Cover up…NO!

    All this makes me say…Wake up people! Corporations are guilty of “spin” everyday (not just the Ravens, not just the NFL). Many of you do this in your jobs. It’s called trying to put everything in its best possible light. How does this come off as something new or appalling? It happens everyday.

    Now, if you want to rip Bisciotti, this Darren Sanders issue is where it could be done. I would never have said we are standing behind him. I would have said we are waiting for the outcome of his legal matter. If he is guilty, this whole RR process starts all over again.

  24. Bisciotti is a class act. He has admitted mistakes and accepted responsibility. On the field, the Ravens got it done again..short of a Super Bowl.

    The Ravens had nothing to do with deflate gate or whatever they call it.

    I also agree with poster that mentions Darren Sanders. How this guy has a job after 2004 when he discharged his weapon in a sporting venue is beyond me. They need to walk away from this guy as soon as they can.

  25. I do not believe that they had a good reputation to begin with so I’m not surprised it went down lIke it did. Also, while I do not think Krafty Bob is above reproach he’s clearly head and shoulders above Biscotti as a in terms of setting up a franchise for long term, high level success.

  26. From a Hawks fan…. it’s nice to see someone as upfront and honest as Biscotti. His press conference when the second tape came out, was exactly the press conference that Goodell should have done.

    He’s ran a successful organization, that has been stable and consistent, second only to NE over the last decade. That’s pretty damn impressive.

    Lastly…. for all those bringing up Ray Lewis…. let me see if I got it straight…. everybody here pounds the “freedom of speech” “this is America” drum, but we blast a man that was acquitted in a court?

    Here…. i have it figured out:

    How to be a PFT commenter:

    1. blast anyone with money, out of pure jealousy
    2. blast anyone that gets discussed
    3. put down everything that is not related to your team
    4. defend everything your team does
    5. post a bunch of cheesy overused jokes
    6. REPEAT

  27. One last thing. The holier than thou Pats fans, you are really something. Great SB win. But just stop beating your chest there.

    For an organization that drafted a known trouble maker who now is in court for murder, and accused of others, it seems the moral high ground you claim is just a bit disingenuous. And don’t give me this stuff you cut him right away. The things he did, he did when he was your employee.

    I also might point to the Taping penalty and fines your organization, and head coach absorbed just a few years ago. Oh, and to discuss a real “cover up”…how did the tape get destroyed? Talk about disingenuous comments!

    So as a Raven’s fan taking my continued dose of this medicine for the organization I root for, you’ll excuse me for not accepting one drop from all of you. If I compare, I’ll take defending what we have done. Your lot, is far beyond defense.

  28. There’s so many people here criticizing him for having money, go out and make your own instead of being jealous.

  29. OMG, even the Ray Lewis defenders have it wrong.

    RL pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in exchange for testifying against the men who were on trial for the murders. He did lie to police initially. He admitted to lying initially faced the misdemeanor charge for that. The murder charges were dropped. It was never a self defense case.

  30. The ONLY complaint I have about the Ravens owner is how he handled the Ray Rice thing. Remember, 2-3 Ravens had minor issues (disorderly, fighting) with the law the week before Ray Rice. Local radio has said many times that Harbaugh wanted to cut them all then and there, including Rice, to send a clear message to the remaining players and fans. Rumor is he was overridden by Biscotti as he felt loyalty and wanted to help his guys through the issues. He sure as heck didn’t keep Rice because of the awesome stats he had just put up.

    Other than that he basically asks what the team needs, gives it to them and expects results.

  31. I am absolutely, unequivocally against domestic violence, but they should give Rice another chance. He’s stuck with them through thick and thin, and they should mandate whatever counseling, monitoring, reporting, you name it that they want or need. I’m getting a little tired of our knee-jerk public sphere where permanent blood sacrifices are demanded for every infraction.

    The message shouldn’t be that if you do this, your whole life is over. The message should be that you should be reformed and not do it again, and that your support structure is there to help you do that, protect whoever needs protecting, and demonstrate the unavoidable truth that life goes on.

  32. I couldn’t imagine being a player on this team…a guy who punched his wife in the face, a gm, owner, and coach who supported him, suspected murderer for whom they erected a statue, standing ovations for wifebeaters, sexual predators, players who throw bleach on their wives, a security director up on sex offense charges, a front office who had several drunk driving arrests, and a coach who doesn’t know the rulebook….. the list could go on and on. Worst franchise in sports, and it shows.

  33. Let’s add to the list of coaches who don’t know “all” the rules, Bill Belicheck. He admitted in a press conference to knowing nothing about the rules for footballs. I watched it, heard him say it.

    How’s those glass houses holding up?

  34. To all you Ray Lewis haters. If Ray Lewis had left the Ravens and played on any other team you would have welcomed him with open arms. Ray Lewis told his story on the NFL station about what happened that night. Maybe you should all research it.

    Something not mentioned in the article in regards to the Ray Rice issue, Bisciotti said “if this is the seminal moment that turns domestic violence into the serious that it has to take, we don’t mind being the poster boy for it. I think he is a class act.

    I do believe it was a one time assault for Ray. Alcohol can really turn a person’s life around in so many bad ways. But everyone deserves a second chance.

  35. Swc, wow what a list! Creative writing at it’s best.

    The GM, owner and coach, did not condone the actions of RR. The all expressed disappointment. But they all spoke to the high character they had witnessed up to his assault and did try to support RR, until they could no longer. I would think players would want to play for people who support their guys. I would! To a fault the Ravens top people supported RR. And yes, they should not have given him the benefit of the doubt. That is a real easy call here over a year since it happened. In real time, that is much more delicate.

    Sexual predators? Really! Front office members with several drunk driving arrests? They had an assistant OL coach who had an alcohol problem. He is no longer with the team.

    A man suspected of murder? Yes, RL was given a murder charge as an accomplice until he agreed to testify against the people who were truly suspected (which Ray should have done from the beginning). But let’s not look at all the good RL did from that point forward. Doesn’t fit your argument does it.

    I don’t defend T Suggs crap off the field. But my guess is many players would want to play with him.

    It’s okay to have a list of why you hate the team. But I doubt players view that team that way at all.

  36. Bunk McNulty:
    Ray Lewis & his crew initially lied to police, thus Ray was charged with obstruction of justice . He then testified against Sweeting & Oakley but his account led to their acquittal on the grounds of self defense. There was no act of murder

  37. Ravens sure know how to win on the field. Keeping players from getting trouble off the field? Not their specialty.

    We are talking about grown men right? Why should a football organization have to work at keeping guys respectable?

  38. Love that they’re supporting Sanders and not kicking him to the curb simply because a female accused him of sexual assault. As we’ve seen, way too many of these accusations are motivated by personal gain or revenge so waiting to see how it plays out is the right thing to do.

  39. poesports says:
    Feb 25, 2015 9:14 AM

    Keep hating while you watch the Ravens LOSE in the playoffs once again next season .

    Fixed that for you. You’re welcome.

  40. @nfllifer
    Creating facts that don’t exist, eh??? When was he convicted for accessory to murder? Oh, they let him off on that. Sure! A young black man in Atlanta slides past those kind of charges all the time, right?

    Btw, Modell owned the team then.

  41. It wasn’t the year’s fault. It was Bisciotti’s decision to throw his coach under the bus in handling the Ray Rice affair. He basically told his head coach to appear on national television and lie about what Bisciotti himself had decided to do (or not do). The only one Bisciotti has to blame for having a terrible year is himself and his lousy administrative style. But, then, he ‘s no different that Art Modell, who, in the dead of night, moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore because he couldn’t get his way.

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