Are We Ready To Welcome Ray Rice Back To The NFL?


If you're a Ray Rice fan, you're tired of seeing pictures/videos of what he allegedly did in Atlantic City over a year ago.

Was it wrong? Most certainly. Does he know it was wrong? You bet he does.

Ray and his wife Janay are past that wild turn of events (they're still married, in fact), and he wants the rest of the world to be, too.

It's time for him to return to football.

Let's face it: A lot of unfair scrutiny went into Ray Rice's case, and some will argue it was even blown out of proportion.

The reason this case was so heavily covered by the media? It was caught on camera. 

To put it into perspective, here's a database of NFL arrests from the past 15 years that shows just how criminally active the NFL is.

Now, with all due respect to ESPN, it does its fair share of coverage on athletes' trials and tribulations off the field.

But, they simply can't cover every story, nor can they get video evidence of every crime these athletes commit.

The outrage over Rice sparked because we caught it on camera, and unfortunately, for Rice, he had to suffer the consequences knowing his business was on the Internet for the world to see.

As heinous as Rice's offense was, no one wants that type of negative media attention, nor does any athlete want "incident" or "elevator" as the first keywords next to his or her name on any search engine.

Rice's situation certainly heightened the focus on domestic violence in America, especially among athletes.

Players have to maintain an image as role models for the next generation, and their bad behavior could rub off.

With all that being said, we can't forget about this guy's talent.

If you've already taken the opportunity to forgive him for his mistakes, you should be anticipating where he ends up next season and how well he's going to perform.

After all, he is a Super Bowl champion. His Super Bowl performance wasn't necessarily one to remember, but he was a crucial part of that Ravens offense.

According to ESPN, Rice spoke to members of the football team at his former college, Rutgers University, this spring about how people look at him now for his awful decision.

He and Adrian Peterson are two star running backs who were deactivated from football last year, and are trying to make a comeback from bad off-the-field decisions.

Being the poster child for domestic abuse for the last year has now motivated Rice to become better than he was before he left.

He's training for the upcoming season with vigor, and his comeback could certainly tell a story of self-realization and redemption if he finds a team before the upcoming summer work outs.

Adam Schefter, an ESPN NFL analyst, remarks that the NFL is good with second chances. He says:

We don't know what he can do right now! We haven't seen him in a year in a half.

Many teams may not want Rice, simply for the fact that he will draw negative media attention to the team, which, quite frankly, shouldn't be a factor if he's producing numbers and helping the team win.

Just look at Michael Vick. Vick is proof that not only are there second chances in the NFL, but there's second chances from the fans, too.

He has come back from an ugly off-the-field past, and he's playing better than ever.

Now it's Rice's turn. Maybe you're not ready to welcome him back, but you can bet there's a team in the NFL who is.

Come September, the world will see if he's ready to rise to the occasion.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.