Baltimore Ravens say team has terminated running back Ray Rice's contract

The Baltimore Ravens terminated running back Ray Rice's contract on Monday, hours after a graphic video surfaced showing him knocking out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City hotel elevator in February.

The Baltimore Ravens terminated running back Ray Rice's contract on Monday, hours after a graphic video surfaced showing him knocking out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City hotel elevator in February.

Within minutes of the Ravens' decision, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that Rice is suspended indefinitely from playing in the league. Rice's two-game suspension for assaulting Janay Palmer was scheduled to end Friday.

The Ravens had no other comment in its statement announcing Rice's release.

Previous video of Rice dragging Palmer, whom he married after the incident, from the elevator in which the newly released video was shot, created a social media firestorm. But now the new video, also released by TMZ, shows Rice hitting Palmer directly in the face on Feb. 15.

It's unclear how long the two were in the elevator, but Rice looks down at her on the elevator floor. When the doors open, he drags her out.


The punch drew a controversial two-game suspension from Goodell, who admitted later that "I didn't get it right" and revamped the league's policies against domestic violence.

The league said earlier Monday that no one in Goodell's office previously saw the video.

"We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator," NFL's vice president of communications Brian McCarthy said in a statement. "That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today."

In the new video, Rice strikes Palmer, who hits him back. Rice then hits her again, and she falls to the ground. The elevator then stops and he drags he out. Eventually, Palmer wakes up and appears to be comforted by onlookers.

TMZ said it altered the video to "smooth out" what it described as jumpy, raw video, according to

Rice was suspended by Goodell for two games on July 25. He was also fined more than $500,000 -- two game checks from this season, and one from 2013.

In the NFL's revamped policy against domestic violence, first-time offenders will be suspended for six games while players will receive a lifetime ban for a second offense.

"I made the biggest mistake of my life," Rice said in a news conference when the Ravens returned to camp in late July. "I want to own it."


In May, Rice was accepted into a pretrial diversion program that permits certain defendants -- usually first-time ones -- to avoid formal prosecution if they attend the program for a minimum of one year. If he completes it, the third-degree charge of aggravated assault he was charged with will be dismissed. The arrest would stay on his record, but without a conviction.

Goodell announced the new domestic violence policy for the league in a letter to all team owners on Aug. 28.

"At times, however, and despite our best efforts, we fall short of our goals," Goodell wrote in the letter. "We clearly did so in response to a recent incident of domestic violence. ... My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values.

"I didn't get it right."

The Ravens previously had supported Rice in the case, citing his sterling reputation before the incident. The media and public reaction on Twitter and elsewhere was that the NFL sent the wrong message to Rice and other domestic violence offenders.

"There are consequences when you make a mistake like that," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said at the time. "I stand behind Ray. He's a heck of a guy. He's done everything right since. He made a mistake. He's gonna have to pay a consequence. It's good for kids to understand it works that way. That's how it works. That's how it should be."

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