Ray Rice is no longer a Raven, but the fallout from the elevator incident that ended his career in purple continues to influence how Ravens brass look at their team.
At a press conference billed as the “State of the Ravens” address on Tuesday, the team’s top officials acknowledged they didn’t take domestic violence seriously in the wake of the video that showed Rice knocking out his fiancee in an Atlantic City hotel.
“We were treating domestic violence the same we did a bar fight, and that was a mistake,” said Ravens President Dick Cass said. “That was wrong. I think the league has recognized that. We certainly recognized that. That’s an offense that will be treated very differently going forward.”
As the team looks to add to the roster this offseason, the front office will be looking at the player’s background more intensely than in the past. In short, they don’t want players who have a history of abuse allegations.
“Someone who has domestic abuse in their background, it’s going to be tough for them to be considered a Raven,” General Manager Ozzie Newsome said.
When it comes to pro football, such a stance has real consequences. According to ESPN, that likely means the Ravens won’t pursue wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who played under new newly-hired offensive coordinator Marc Trestman in Chicago. At least three NFL Draft prospects are also probably out of consideration, ESPN’s Jamison Hensley writes.
The focus hasn’t kept players from getting in trouble this offseason. Lineman Terrence Cody was arrested for animal cruelty in Baltimore County. Meanwhile, New Jersey authorities put a warrant out for safety Will Hill.