At Monday afternoon press conference, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti accused Ray Rice and people close to him of providing ESPN's Outside the Lines erroneous information related to the February altercation between Rice and his then-fiancee in order to build the running back's case for reinstatement.
On the ESPN report
"Our integrity and character were being called into question. My feeling when I read [ESPN's report] was a couple of things. I think it says it took them 11 days to write it, but they only gave us two hours to respond."
"I think it's obvious that the majority of sources are people that work for Ray. Almost everything in there is anonymous, but it's clear from the subject matter that it's Ray's attorney, it's Ray's agent, and Ray's friends. They are building a case for reinstatement, and the best way to build a case for reinstatement is to make everybody else look like they're lying. They're accusations didn't jive with what we knew as fact."
The ESPN reporters who wrote the article pushed back on Bisciotti's assertions after the press conference.
On ESPN, @DVNJr said they had team sources inside the Ravens building. "It's an assumption he's making about where this is coming from."— Jane McManus (@janesports) September 22, 2014
Roger Goodell's handling of the situation
"I was expecting a minimum of two games and a maximum of four to six games [for Ray Rice's suspension]."
"I have a lot of respect for Roger (Goodell) and what he does. That's par for the course for something like this. I think when Mueller's done his investigation, he's going to see things that he can do better. We figured out pretty much the few things we could have gotten done, and I mentioned last week a couple of times that through the course of this when they dropped Janay's charges and raised Ray's to a felony in the third degree that's when we backed off and got in line behind the prosecutor and the NFL."
"Nobody is losing a job here"
"I am thoroughly aware of what the league expects the team to do in instances like this, and the people in my organization did their jobs. Their jobs as they're defined and as they're expected to be met by the league. Nobody is losing a job here, I'm very confident of that."
Bribing Rice with future employment
"The facts speak for themselves. That story was manufactured to tie my promise to take care of him down the road as hush money. Let me say if I cut a guy making $6 million a year, if I'm promising him to be by his side and hire him for $100,000 a year five years from now so he can help Harry Swayne in our development department, if that's considered worthy of him 'going along' I find that absurd. It would take him 150 years to make back the $25 million that I took away from him by cutting him."
"I'm not happy with [the OTL report]. I said 'better late than never' when we made the decision to cut Ray, and I stand by that. Somebody else can say 'it's too late now,' but I can't respond to that. If all I can do is try and correct our wrongs and do what we think is right, that decision to cut Ray Monday was that. I can't please those people that think we didn't do enough."
Why the Ravens didn't investigate further
"We decided [not to investigate] because it had been elevated to a felony. It was very clear to us that they were going to get any piece of information they wanted. They have the power to get anything they want."
"I feel regretful because in my heart of hearts if we had gotten the tape early on in the Spring and Roger had seen it, I think it would have been a precedent-setting, multi-game suspension or maybe indefinite."
Bisciotti's feelings about Rice
"What [Ray's] lawyer is forcing him to do to prepare for this thing, I won't hold against him."
"I believe in my heart that Ray would be a great addition to us when it comes to trying to steer these guys, young men to grown men."
"I give you my word that some things are going to change."
The OTL report also alleged that the team's leadership, including Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome, lobbied NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to minimize the suspension of Rice.
The report alleges that the Ravens were detailed the exact play-by-play in the surveillance video, but did not request to see the footage, contrary to claims made by owner Steve Bisciotti. OTL also alleges that the Ravens requested Roger Goodell suspend Rice no more than two games, which he agreed to "as a favor to his good friend Bisciotti."
The NFL eventually extended Rice's suspension indefinitely after a second surveillance video published by TMZ Sports on Sept. 8 showed Rice punching his then-fiancee and knocking her unconscious before dragging her out of an elevator.
Rice is in the process of appealing his suspension, although he was also released by the Ravens on the same day as the release of the surveillance video. According to the OTL report, Rice was fully cooperative and truthful in his discussions with the NFL and Ravens, which is contrary to the reaction of Goodell, who said Rice stated a "starkly different sequence of events."