While an anonymous NFL Executive told Sports Illustrated that the Buffalo Bills would make a good fit for Ray Rice, it makes no sense for the team to take a risk and sign a running back they don’t want, and probably no one in the league wants to touch right now.
Rice didn’t play at all last season because of his domestic violence being exposed, or to be more accurate it was hotel violence. He was released from the Ravens but can play again in 2015. But is anyone going to touch him? Should they?
The reasoning behind the Bills connection is Rex Ryan. That’s it. The Bills have LeSean McCoy as the leading running back. They have Fred Taylor, Karlos Williams, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon. Someone is going to get cut, most likely. So adding Rice doesn’t make sense, unless Ryan really really wants him because of the time they spent together on the Ravens in 2008.
Rice himself hasn’t been good in quite a while. He had a huge drop off in 2013, rushing for just 660 yards following four consecutive seasons of at least 1100 yards in rushing and 1600 or more in scrimmage, including more than 2000 scrimmage yards twice. Sure, he has great hands and might bounce back from that bad 2013, but with running backs, there’s rarely a bounce back that’s significant enough to make it seem like he’s going to be good for years to come. Once you start losing it, it’s gone.
One thing that SI Poll among NFL executives agreed on and made sense was that Rice needs a strong organization to help him come back. Like the Eagles were for Michael Vick after his time in prison. A place where the scrutiny won’t turn the whole situation into a mass. In short, not the New York Jets. But maybe it’s just like the Jets to go for Rice and botch that comeback attempt.