On Wednesday we got word that San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith is likely to receive a suspension from the NFL. It appears as if Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is in store for a similar fate.
ESPN NFL insider Chris Mortensen reported Thursday that the league is expected to suspend Rice following his assault charge.
“He’s gonna miss some time,” Mortensen said on “NFL Insiders.” “The Ravens anticipate he’s gonna miss some time.”
Rice avoided a trial and is a first-time offender of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. However, the league has suspended players — regardless of their pasts — for similar offenses.
Rice was arrested in February following a physical altercation at an Atlantic City casino with his then-fiancee Janay Palmer. Rice was charged with third-degree aggravated assault, but was cleared of the charge after entering a diversionary program.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger received a six-game suspension in 2010 for a similar offense, though it was later reduced to four games.
Former NFL counsel David Cornwell, who represented Roethlisberger, told the Baltimore Sun he believes a suspension is a likely outcome.
Even though Rice is a first-time offender, the fact that TMZ captured video footage of Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator — and subsequently received so much attention for his actions — gives commissioner Roger Goodell more ammunition to issue a suspension.
“The league will take a look at all of that, and Roger Goodell is responsive to things like counseling and what kind of positive steps a player takes following an incident,” Cornwell said. “He also pays attention to the amount of press a case gets and the fact that this is a very important issue.”
If Roethlisberger’s suspension is precedent, then a suspension between two and four games seems likely. It seems as if the Ravens are expecting at least that.