While Ravens RB Ray Rice could ultimately end up having the charge removed from his record, history shows that the NFL has punished players regardless of whether they have been convicted or only charged with a crime.
“Goodell has discretionary power to discipline players regardless of how legal situations are adjudicated and has shown that in the past,” wrote Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for six games in 2010 following an alleged sexual assault, even though he was never charged with a crime. That suspension was eventually reduced to four games.
The league has given no indication on the length of a suspension Rice may receive, but Jeff Zrebiec of The Sun expects it to be less than Roethlisberger.
“My guess is it will be no more than [three games],” Zrebiec tweeted. “I'm taking into account that Rice is 1st-time offender and has been one of the faces of the NFL.”
Rice has the potential to bounce back in Gary Kubiak's offense, but a suspension would certainly put a dent in his draft stock.