Normally Quotable kicks off with a quote, but that doesn't seem appropriate when the biggest story of the day is about a man who hasn't said anything yet. Ray Rice is set to speak Friday for the first time since being arrested last February on assault charges after video emerged of him dragging his then-fiancee, now-wife Janay Palmer unconscious out of an Atlantic City casino elevator.
Rice's arrest caught many off-guard. His name, to that point, had never been associated with off-field misconduct. In fact, he had become one of the faces of the Baltimore Ravens, and one of the league's best running backs after racking up at least 1,600 total yards in four straight seasons from 2009 to 2012.
The last year has been unkind to Rice, however. In addition to the charges, he regressed significantly last season alongside his offensive line, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry as the Ravens finished out of the playoffs after winning the 2013 Super Bowl. He will almost certainly be handed a suspension from the commissioner's office despite being a first-time offender.
The heads of the Ravens' organization -- from head coach John Harbaugh, to general manager Ozzie Newsome, to president Dick Cass -- have all voiced their outright support for the running back, insisting that Rice is a leader in the locker room. Rice will come to his own defense at 3 p.m. ET, likely conscious that many eyes will be on him and expecting a new example to be set.
"The transformation started in my life before I was traded. ... It was life-saving and career-saving"
Brandon Marshall is a happy man after signing a three-year, $30 million extension with the Chicago Bears. The wideout earned the contract after catching 100 passes for 1,295 yards and a career-high 12 touchdowns last season. He signed the contract on "The View," then pledged to donated $1 million to support mental health.
At Thursday news conference, Marshall said that none of what he accomplished -- the numbers, the big contract and the awareness he has raised of mental health issues -- would have been possible had he stayed with the Miami Dolphins.
"I don't think I'd be sitting in this position, talking about an extension," Marshall said. "I probably wouldn't be having the success that I've had on the field (if I were still in Miami). It wasn't right for me."
Marshall also said that he has had to learn how to share targets, with Alshon Jeffery emerging as a potential star. Given his chipper demeanor, it appears he doesn't mind.
"It's time for the NFL to endorse a name change for the Washington, D.C. football team."
- Excerpt from official letter sent by 50 U.S. senators to Roger Goodell
The league responded to the senate's letter by defending its long-held stance, that the Redskins name "has always been to present a strong, positive and respectful image."
The NFL has made efforts to seem like it's taking steps against epithets, reportedly discussing Donald Sterling at the recent owners meeting in Atlanta and vowing to take hard-stance against the on-field use of the N-word by issuing penalties. To SB Nation's NFL editor Ryan Van Bibber, however, he NFL's actions have been hollow.
But for all the keynote speeches and panel discussions and old rumors about five-yard penalties for using the N-word, the name of metro DC's professional football team is still an epithet colored by 300 years of genocide, planned and de facto.
But it's the Senate sending this letter, not a group of marginalized citizens living far outside the view of American television consumers. A letter from 50 blue bloods to another should carry a little more weight.
"He's only covering space. He's not really covering a guy."
- Patrick Peterson on Richard Sherman
Patrick Peterson tried to throw some shade on Richard Sherman's cornerback game, and it led to a Twitter exchange that did not go well for the Arizona Cardinals cornerback. Sherman responded with this:
Lockdown everywhere but the field pic.twitter.com/5vUyyhNIvn— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) May 23, 2014
And painted a conclusion that many intuitively knew: Sherman is really, really good. So is Peterson, and statistics certainly don't tell the complete story of a player's worth. But then Sherman has a Super Bowl ring after supporting arguably one of the best pass defenses in NFL history.
Peterson maybe should have saved the trash talk for the regular season.