Jaguars’ play for Bernard Pierce highlights Ray Rice’s reality

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The Jaguars need help at running back.  Last year’s free-agent acquisition (Toby Gerhart) has been a bust, and the Swiss Army knife from Michigan (Denard Robinson) is recovering from a season-ending foot sprain.

The Jags had some interest in DeMarco Murray, but the money got too rich for them.  So they instead pounced via waivers on a guy who had been cut by the Ravens a day after being arrested for DUI.

The Jaguars enjoy both a rabid local following and (for now) national anonymity, making it easier to promptly claim Bernard Pierce on waivers without stepping into the crosshairs of criticism.  In theory, that would also make it easier for the Jaguars to be the team that gives Ray Rice a second chance.

And yet they haven’t, which underscores the reality that Ray Rice likely won’t be getting a second chance.

With rosters at 90 per team and guys like Tim Tebow getting workouts, Rice continues to wait by a phone that likely will never ring.  It makes his decision not to attend the Veteran Combine even more baffling, since participation in a mass workout would give teams a chance to see what he currently can do without inviting the wrath that would accompany bringing him in for a private look-see.

The passage of time could set the stage for a shot at redemption for Rice.  But the position he plays, coupled with his age and signs of decline in 2013, will make it harder for any team to justify enduring the backlash that will come from signing a player who quite possibly won’t be able to do much to help the team win games.

That’s really the difference between Rice and Greg Hardy/Adrian Peterson.  The latter two are still believed to possess rare skills that can help a team win, so they’ll be getting a second chance.  Rice isn’t, which likely means he won’t be.

26 responses to “Jaguars’ play for Bernard Pierce highlights Ray Rice’s reality

  1. RB’s are a dime a dozen. Nobody is going to take the heat for an aging and declining RB. when you can get similar production from a mid round pick at this stage in his career.

  2. In a league where Greg Hardy can still command at $13MM contract, I fear the reason Ray Rice isn’t getting any interest has more to do with his recent production, or lack thereof, than his heinous actions.

  3. Yeah, he definitely should have attended the veterans combine for the reason you stated. If he showed something there then some team would have signed him.

  4. Call me naive, but I don’t think it’s just about skill in this case. What he did was seen by hundreds of millions of people on video. Peterson was immediately called a piece of crap, and Greg Hardy might be semi-radioactive, but there isn’t that visceral reaction we got from seeing Rice punch his bride to be. My prediction is he’s done in the NFL, for sure. Peterson will survive because eventually people will forgive him for being moron who went too far with discipline. Hardy will benefit from the weird legal system in NC. Not Rice. He’s done, just the line the hotel in which the incident happened.

  5. Someone will sign Rice eventually. Maybe not before the season begins, but during the season as injuries add up. Teams are always pickier now than later.

    I expect he can still play better than most current 2d and 3d stringers, but we will find out.

  6. Ray Rice has never tried to fix his image that is the biggest issue. He should be out there speaking against DV and showing he has changed or that it was a one time mistake. It is not even comparable to Peterson and Hardy because each case is unique. My guess if Ray tried to be a force against DV and was semi successful in doing so teams would be lining up for his services but until then no team is going to sign this guy because the video will be all anyone can think of when they hear the name Ray Rice and that is not good for business.

  7. The difference between Rice and Peterson is Peterson crossed the line when punishing his son, Rice did something that should never be done.

  8. There’s no point in signing him now. The draft is deep at RB and it is one of the most fungible positions in the league. It doesn’t take very long to learn how a team wants you to run between the tackles or block an edge rusher. It will only be after the draft and during training camp when teams start to realize that they have a need at the position that they will consider bringing him on board.

  9. Bet his ‘wife’ serves him with divorce papers as soon as the checks stop coming. That quickie marriage probably left no time for a pre nup and she will soak him for every dollar she can.

  10. Mike knows his stuff. He might be one of three national reporters that knows this – “The Jaguars enjoy…a rabid local following”

    Many of the lazy reporters are pushing a storyline from 6 or 7 years ago. This fan base has really come into its own.

  11. If Ray needs a payday, maybe he could face Erik Walden’s ex in the Octogon—and she gets to keep her knife as well as the baseball bat.

  12. Interesting to read the remarks here about RR compared to Hardy and Peterson. The only difference is the video.

    Reading the one comment above that discipline getting out of control against a child is more acceptable than hitting a woman? Really? Let’s see a video of Peterson doing that and see if people agree with that statement. Let me say they are equally vile. But if I had to say one was worse, it would be the assault on a child by a parent.

    And please folks. If you haven’t, read the account of what Greg Hardy did to his partner. You tell me then that regardless of what he has left in his tank that he is more plausible for return to the NFL than RR. Hardy’s actions were closer to Rae Carruth’s than Ray Rice’s.

    I am telling you, video is the only difference in what has formed opinion. Because a clear case can be made the other two guys did worse things.

  13. Yeah, being an aging RB is definitely the only difference between Rice and other players. No other difference, nope, none at all.

    Except a video. Yeah, umm…actually seeing the guy slug a woman and knock her unconscious and DRAG HER across the floor…might make you want to keep your distance even more.

  14. For those doubting the “Jag’s rabid local following”, just look at last years attendance numbers. The Jags ranked #21 ahead of the Steelers, Lions, Bears, and Vikings. With these new signings and hopefully a great draft, I expect the numbers and ranking to go higher this season.

    The Jaguars are an ascending team and I’ll bet that our long playoff drought will end in the next few years.

  15. A “rabid local following?” Seriously?

    A couple hundred people is a “rabid following?” Half the stadium is empty.

    The Bills have a rabid following. The Steelers, Cowboys and Packers have rabid followings. The Jaguars? That’s hilarious.

  16. “The Jaguars enjoy both a rabid local following and (for now) national anonymity”

    After bashing the Jags with false reports of local TV blackouts and too much speculation of a move to LA or London for one writer, it seems like someone is jumping on the wagon of a team with an arrow pointed WAY up. No room for you, sorry!

  17. Lots of people get DUI’s. Not as many beat their wives. Even fewer beat their knock their wives out cold in an elevator and drag them out by their hair after kicking them to ask if they are “Ok”

  18. Ray Rice’s 2013 season was terrible because the Ravens OL was terrible. There was only one change in that lineup from the dominating Super Bowl run: Center Matt Birk retired. He never got a lot of recognition, but during their SB run, after the play was called he told each lineman exactly what his assignment was. That way they got the most out of Michael Oher and Bryant McKinnie, both of who where shipped out by the end of the next season. So after getting rid of control freak Cam Cameron as OC, Birk must have had the freedom to do that.

    I’m saying all this to say that in a few years Matt Birk should be seriously considered for the Hall-of-Fame.

    Oh, and although Ray Rice very probably can still play at a high level, due to the video, he almost certainly never will.

  19. Yeah man you’re right about the jags attendance. Lol, only reason it’s so high is because that’s the only way you can watch their games. They get blacked out at home. Can’t even find a jaguars coffee mug in the airport. No following at all.

  20. Also, as I’m local I wouldn’t call the reports of local blackouts false. Too funny, more Georgia bulldog fans in jax than jags fans.

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