Despite need, don’t expect Chiefs to look Ray Rice’s way
Even though they’re bringing Ben Tate in for a workout, when Chiefs coach Andy Reid was asked about possible replacements for injured running back Jamaal Charles Monday, he stressed all his in-house options.
And while Reid is a known giver of second chances from his days with Philadelphia and Michael Vick, it seems extremely unlikely that he’d push the Ray Rice button in Kansas City.
Rice’s name has popped up periodically this season when injuries occur (namely in Cleveland and Dallas), but he hasn’t had a chance to even work out for a team since he was banished by the NFL for knocking his wife out in a casino elevator, becoming the face of domestic violence in the NFL.
Other younger and more recently accomplished players have gotten such chances. In the case of Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, it came without even a perfunctory show of contrition, while Rice has apologized multiple times, and seems to genuinely realize the horrible crime he committed.
But as it pertains to potential employment with the Chiefs, other historical context might keep him from getting an opportunity
Even if Reid wanted to give Rice the same kind of chance he gave Vick, the specter of Jovan Belcher might prevent it. The former Chiefs linebacker shot his former girlfriend and then himself in a 2012 murder-suicide that left a 3-month-old orphan behind, and that kind of backdrop might make it hard to sell a redemption story like Rice’s. Just like when the Panthers (who once employed Rae Carruth) let Hardy walk into free agency without so much as an offer, the scars of the past often make teams more hesitant, even though Reid wasn’t there for the Belcher incident.
Of course, Rice’s play the last time he was on the field gives teams an easy reason to not go there. While many have said they’d like to see him get a second chance, it’s clear they all want it to be somewhere else.
And it would be a surprise if Kansas City became that place, despite the need at the position.