Just when it looked like no NFL team was willing to give Ray Rice a chance, it seems like he may have a potential suitor in the Cleveland Browns.
Browns head coach Mike Pettine told Sports Illustrated that the team has discussed the possibility of giving the embattled running back a chance. Rice hasn't played since the Baltimore Ravens cut him last September following the release of hotel elevator footage, showing him punching his then-fiancee, now-wife Janay Rice.
The door was opened to the possibility of the Browns adding Rice after running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery reportedly called out the team's current running back corps, saying that "nobody wants the role" to star as the feature back. Montgomery was Rice's position coach with the Ravens from 2008-2013, so there's familiarity there as well.
"Of course it's a natural question here because of Wilbert, and because I was with Ray when he was a Ravens rookie and know a lot of people in Baltimore," Pettine told SI.com. "Obviously Wilbert was his position coach for Ray's first six years in the league. I'm not going to say it didn't come up in discussion, but at this point we're not there yet."
Just last week, during an interview with ESPN, Rice, 28, claimed to be a "rehabilitated man."
"I can understand some people probably never will forgive my actions," Rice said. "But I think that every step that I took going forward right now — over time, I want to be able to rewrite the script, to tell my daughter that daddy made the worst decision of his life, but this is what I did going forward."
He added, "I truly lived a nightmare. There is no set in stone whether you're going to get a second chance or not. I have to set my hope and faith and everything else that I'm doing in my life. I'm just really hopeful for a second chance."
In 2013, Rice rushed for 660 yards, averaging 3.1 yards per carry and four touchdowns in a down season.
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(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)