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Will NFL, Chiefs take action on Rashee Rice before offseason program opens on Monday?

Chiefs receiver Rashee Rice faces eight felony charges arising from last month’s street-racing incident in Dallas. On Monday, the Chiefs launch their offseason program.

Will Rice be there?

That depends on whether the NFL and/or the Chiefs will take action to keep Rice from being there. The league could place him on paid leave. The league could, in theory, suspend him without pay. The Chiefs could ask him not to show up, and he could agree to stay away.

The Chiefs did that five years ago, when former Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill agreed to leave offseason workouts while an investigation occurred regarding his son’s broken arm. While no one was prosecuted for that crime (investigators couldn’t prove who broke the child’s arm), the Chiefs and Hill decided it would be best for him to stay away while the process played out.

It would be best for Rice to stay away from this year’s offseason workouts. It would be even better for the league to make a clear statement now regarding its lack of tolerance for players who endanger others in the way Rice did.

While he did nothing intentional or malicious, the conduct displays a degree of recklessness bordering on depraved. The NFL needs every player to realize that getting behind the wheel of a car and driving at a high rate of speed among other cars is not acceptable.

Often, the league avoids putting a player on paid leave in order to not create another story on the subject. In this case, there’s value in creating another story.

Already, the non-sports media is covering the Rice case. If the league wants to issue a loud and clear warning to players about not driving recklessly, this is the way to do it.

If the league doesn’t, the Chiefs should. After the charges were filed against Rice, they had no comment. In the aftermath of the incident, Chiefs president Mark Donovan said “it doesn’t appear that anyone was hurt and we should be grateful for that.” His information was faulty; people were injured.

What will the Chiefs do now? It’s inevitable that questions will be asked next week, and it’s likely that non-sports reporters will be present to ask them. Will the NFL and/or the Chiefs set the stage for those press conferences by ensuring that Rice won’t be practicing or playing until the case is resolved?

We’ll quite possibly find out later today. Although Rice has many rights available to him, the video evidence doesn’t lie. A race was happening. It caused a crash. And Rice, per his lawyer, has admitted to driving one of the two cars.