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Baltimore Ravens' Ray Rice: Could he be suspended by the NFL?

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Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice was arrested last week at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City on a domestic violence charge. And although his guilt or innocence has not been established in a court of law, according to Baltimore Ravens News on Feb. 21, Ray Rice could be suspended under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.

Notice that word "could." It's conditional at this point. Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko tweeted, “Expect a suspension. ”Pro Football Talk’s” Mike Florio disagrees. He feels that the Personal Conduct Policy is for repeat offenders and that a suspension for a first offense remains “very rare.”

According to former Baltimore Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick, it is wise to ‘let the process play out’ and allow all the facts to come to light before rushing to judgment.

One of the toughest things right now – and I still live in the Baltimore-DC area – of all the players on the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins, Ray Rice would be the last one anyone would have any inkling that something like this could happen," Billick said.

He's been an absolute stalwart on the team – on and off the field – he's been a stalwart in the community. That's where I think some of the hesitation and disbelief comes. This is totally incongruent with the Ray Rice that everyone has come to know. But obviously seeing the footage [of Rice carrying his unconscious fiancée out of an elevator] this is very, very serious and both the league and the Baltimore Ravens will take it as such."

If, in fact, Ray Rice does get suspended, how much will it cost him?

According to Russell Street Report’s Brian McFarland, it would cost him $235,294 per game from his base salary of $4 million. That’s not exactly chump change. A suspension could be for any number of games.

If Ray Rice does get suspended, the Ravens would have to depend on Bernard Pierce for rushing while Rice is out. Pierce has been plagued by injuries and his yards-per-run average is not as good as Rice’s. It will be up to Pierce, though, if Rice is suspended for a significant length of time.

Legal proceedings have been postponed so the Prosecutor’s Office can investigate further. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't have to wait, however. He can impose a penalty at any time.

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