Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is coming off of the worst season of his career, and fellow back Bernard Pierce had a clunker of a season when both were expected to combine to form one of the league’s best running back duos. Poor blocking got in the way, and it would be unwise to pin most of the struggles directly on Rice. That said, he didn’t show nearly as much wiggle or explosiveness as usual, and 2014 is a huge year for the Rutgers product.
He didn’t get off to a good start this offseason after being arrested early on Saturday for a simple domestic violence situation with his wife. It’s certainly not good, but what Rice did shouldn’t be overblown either. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome made sure that things wouldn’t get overblown by saying, via the Carroll County Times’s Matt Zenitz, “When I left my office about 20 minutes ago, and John had been in there probably 15 minutes before then, Ray Rice was still a big part of what we plan to do in 2014.”
The Ravens completed a lengthy extension with Terrell Suggs to free up some much-needed cap space that will be used to re-sign priority free agents Eugene Monroe and Dennis Pitta (potentially Daryl Smith, too), so Newsome still has plenty of hard work left. They did a great job of organizing their staff, but now it’s about safely navigating through the free agent waters, finding another weapon for Joe Flacco, and putting together another quality draft.