Former Ravens running back Ray Rice said yesterday he is hoping for "a second chance" to resume his NFL career.
Speaking on NBC's "Today" show, Rice said he hopes a team will sign him after he was cut by Baltimore in September following a highly publicized domestic violence incident. His indefinite suspension imposed by the league was overturned Friday in arbitration and he is free to sign with any team.
"[A team] would have to be willing to look deeper into who I am and realize that me and my wife had one bad night, and I took full responsibility for it," Rice said.
"And one thing about my punishment and everything going along with anything that happened is that I've accepted it. I went fully forward with it. I never complained, or I never did anything like that. I took full responsibility for everything that I did, and the only thing I can hope for and wish for is a second chance."
Rice, 27, was accompanied in the interview by his wife, Janay, who was his fiancee at the time of the February incident in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino, and her family. Janay Rice's interview with "Today" was broadcast Monday.
Rice originally was suspended for two games by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. After video surfaced showing Rice knocking out Janay in the elevator, the Ravens released him and the league's punishment was increased to an indefinite suspension.
ESPN.com reported that at least four teams have expressed interest in Rice, a three-time Pro Bowl selection who helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl after the 2012 season. The report identified the Colts and Saints as being among the teams, but it said neither is expected to pursue Rice. The report also said the priority for Rice is to sign with a team by this weekend.
During the interview, Rice said: "If I never play football again, I'll be honest with you, I would adapt into life and I would sacrifice more so she can have a better future."
Rice said he is "horribly sorry for everything that I have put my family through . . . We all just want our lives back. I realize football was one thing, but now I realize that the amount of people we've affected, the amount of families we've affected, that domestic violence is a real issue in society.
"We could take our one bad night, it just happened to be on video, but we are truly sorry to the people that are really going through it. It's a real problem. And I know when the time is right, I know my wife wants to help. I know I want to help."
Rice said he "made a horrendous mistake not apologizing to my wife" during a joint news conference after the initial suspension was announced. Janay Rice apologized for her role in the incident at the news conference.
"I was nervous, and that was the first time we were available to speak," he said.
The couple both said Ray Rice never before struck Janay.
"One thing you learn is that we weren't in a perfect relationship," he said. "No relationship is perfect. We've had arguments, but when you talk about abuse, that's something that we know we'd never cross that path. [It] was just very uncharacteristic of myself. I take responsibility.''
The Ravens declined to comment on yesterday's "Today" interview. The NFL did not respond to a request for comment.