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NFL news roundup: Ray Rice indicted, Knowshon Moreno signs with Miami

More trouble for Ray Rice, a new locale for Knowshon Moreno and more in Thursday's roundup, including: Maurice Jones-Drew, Mark Sanchez, Torrey Smith and Matt Schaub.

Matthew Stockman

A grand jury indicted Ray Rice on Thursday, and put the Baltimore Ravens running back in more trouble than initially feared. Rice was indicted on aggravated assault, a stiffer crime than his initial charge of simple assault-domestic violence that carries a prison sentence of three to five years if found guilty. The charge stemmed from a fight-turned-violent with fiancee Janay Palmer at an Atlantic City casino last February.

Palmer had also been charged with simple assault-domestic violence in the fight, but the charge was dismissed. Video footage showed Rice dragging the unconscious Palmer out of an elevator at the Revel Casino, and according to police, Palmer had been knocked out by Rice.

Rice is expected to earn a suspension from the NFL because of the incident. Thursday's ruling seemingly ensures that some kind of penalty will be handed down from the league. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome have both said that they are monitoring the situation. Newsome said that the organization will not take a stance until after the NFL has its say.

Knowshon Moreno signs 1-year deal with Miami

Knowshon Moreno agreed to a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, filling yet another need for the team in what has once again been a busy free agency period for the Dolphins. Moreno is coming off a tremendous contract season with the Denver Broncos. Miami hopes he can rev up what was an underwhelming rushing attack last season. Via Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider:

With the addition of Moreno, the Dolphins add a proven runner, and admit that their rushing problems in 2013 were not solely the offensive line.  The team is still looking to rebuild the line that allowed a franchise record 58 sacks last year and could not open running lanes for most of the season.  The team added offensive tackle Branden Albert and guard Shelley Smith already this offseason, and could look to sign other free agents or use the Draft to fill out a line that will likely have four new starters out of the five positions, with just center Mike Pouncey returning to the team in 2014.

Moreno won't have the benefit of a top-notch offensive line and the league's best passing attack in Miami, putting extra pressure on him to perform. Ditto for Montee Ball, who is expected to shoulder the rushing load in Denver in his second year in place of Moreno.

Maurice Jones-Drew visiting with the Raiders

Maurice Jones-Drew will visit with the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night and Friday, according NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. The veteran running back is from the Bay Area and would add depth to a corps that is still headed by an injury-prone Darren McFadden. After Rashad Jennings was allowed to walk, signing Jones-Drew would make all too much sense for Oakland, according to Levi Damien at Silver and Black Pride:

The move makes far too much sense, really. The Raiders have plenty of cap space and don't have a sure starter. Jones-Drew's former backup, Rashad Jennings started most of last season for the Raiders and left as a free agent to sign with the New York Giants.

The Raiders re-signed Darren McFadden to a low risk contract and brought in CFL running back, Kory Sheets. They alreay had last year's sixth round pick, Latavius Murray, and former undrafted Jeremy Stewart. If MJD can stay healthy, he could be the best option of all of them.

Eagles sign Mark Sanchez

The Philadelphia Eagles have a backup for Nick Foles. The team signed the recently released and much maligned Mark Sanchez on Thursday, giving Philadelphia a veteran presence should the worst happen with its young starter. That said, Brandon Lee Gowton at Bleeding Green Nation is lukewarm on the addition:

Sanchez, who attended the University of Southern California, will join fellow USC alumnus Matt Barkley in a competition for the Eagles' backup quarterback job. He's hardly a thrilling addition, though. Sanchez actually owns the worst passer rating of every quarterback era in NFL history that lasted at least four seasons. The upside to this move, if there's any, is that Sanchez is a veteran depth option with starting experience. It's also worth mentioning that the offensive talent and coaching in Philadelphia makes up a better surrounding cast than what Sanchez ever had with the Jets.

Sanchez takes over the role formerly occupied by Michael Vick, who signed with the New York Jets earlier this offseason.

Torrey Smith, Ravens both want a new contract for the wide receiver

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and there appears to be mutual interest between he and the Ravens in reaching an agreement on an extension to keep the speedy wide receiver in Baltimore. According to the Baltimore Sun, Smith is interested in being a part of the Ravens' organization for a long time.

Baltimore Beatdown, SB Nation's Ravens site, thinks extending Smith is a formality at this point.

It's only a matter of time before Smith gets the extension he's looking for. A productive player the Ravens drafted, there's no way the organization lets Smith leave their sights.

Matt Schaub restructures contract with Raiders

After trading for quarterback Matt Schaub, the Oakland Raiders managed to restructure the veteran's contract. Schaub's contract now includes no guaranteed money beyond 2014, according to Ross Tucker of NFL Network. Schaub is guaranteed $8 million in 2014, but his $5.5 million in 2015 is not guaranteed. After Schaub's shaky 2013 season, finding a way to make his contract more team friendly had to be a priority for the Raiders.