Ray Rice on his NFL exile: ‘It ain’t because I’m a bad football player’

Ray Rice has been out of the league since 2013 after a video showed him punching his fiancée in an elevator, leading the NFL to suspend him in 2014. Despite the fact that he hasn’t played a game in the more than three years since the Baltimore Ravens released him, Rice is confident he can still play.

He said as much at Torrey Smith’s charity basketball game on Sunday.

“The reason why I’m not playing football, you do the dots,” Rice said, via ESPN. “It ain’t because I’m a bad football player. That’s just keeping it real. I’m never giving up and never giving in.”

Rice was never given a second chance by a team following his suspension. That likely had to do with both his character concerns, as well as his rapidly declining play in his final years with Baltimore.

Andrew Weber

From 2011 on, Rice saw his production drop off in each of the subsequent years, culminating in his abysmal 2013 season. That year, he rushed for just 660 yards and four touchdowns, averaging a measly 3.1 yards per carry.

Even though he was clearly a below-average running back in his last season with the Ravens, the 30-year-old still believes he can be effective in the NFL.

“I can still play football,” Rice said. “I’m never going to give up. You’re never going to hear me say I gave up.”

It’s highly unlikely any team gives him a chance after sitting out the past three seasons, but Rice is still holding out hope.