posted at 20:50
Author: The Associated Press
Ray Rice gets another chance to play in NFL after judge overturns suspension
Ray Rice is now free to play again in the NFL after an arbitrator on Friday threw out indefinite suspension for punching his then-fiancee and now wife in a hotel elevator. The NFL said Rice, a free agent, is "Eligible to play upon signing a new contract." Whether any team will consider signing him is another matter. Former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones said Commissioner Roger Goodell's decision in September to change Rice's original suspension from two games to indefinite was "Arbitrary" and an "Abuse of discretion." She noted in her decision that after Goodell increased the punishment for a first offense under the personal conduct policy from two to six games, "The commissioner called Rice to assure him that the new policy would not affect him - that it was forward-looking and his penalty would not be increased." "Because Rice did not mislead the commissioner and because there were no new facts on which the commissioner could base his increased suspension, I find that the imposition of the indefinite suspension was arbitrary. I therefore vacate the second penalty imposed on Rice.". "We respect Judge Jones's decision to reinstate Ray Rice from his indefinite suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy in an incident of domestic violence," spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press. "Ray Rice is a free agent and has been eligible to be signed by an NFL team since he was released by the Ravens. Based on Judge Jones' decision, he will be eligible to play upon signing a new contract." Rice has not played all season, and was coming off a weak 2013 season.

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