NFL Free Agents: 5 NFL Teams That Could Sign Ray Rice This Season
Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has won his appeal for reinstatement into the league, meaning he is officially an NFL free agent.
While it's extremely unlikely Rice will re-sign with his former team, there are still 31 other teams out there who could be interested. There's only five weeks remaining in the NFL season, so time is ticking for teams to make a final playoff push. A team that would think about signing Rice would have to be a potential playoff squad and a team that needs an improvement to their running game.
Here are five teams that should consider signing Ray Rice this season:
1. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts would be the most likely team to sign Rice.
Even though Rice had a poor season last year with just 660 yards, the Colts' running game is hurting. Not only does the Colts' ground game rank 17th overall, but also Ahmad Bradshaw is now out for the season with an ankle injury. Trent Richardson (who is looking like a draft bust) must now carry the load, and that isn't very promising. Quarterback Andrew Luck can't do everything. The Colts will definitely make the postseason by winning the AFC South, but adding a Super Bowl running back wouldn't hurt.
2. Denver Broncos
Similar to the Colts, the Broncos are a good team, but they have running back issues. Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman are both out with injuries, and 23-year-old C.J. Anderson is still unproven. Rice may be a distraction for the defending AFC Champions, but who better to handle a distraction than Peyton Manning? Rice could also be a good addition catching passes out of the backfield, especially with tight end Julius Thomas hurting.
3. San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers currently rank 27th overall in rushing yards. It's sad because running back Ryan Mathews is very young and talented, but he just can't stay healthy. Last season Mathews ran for 1,255 yards. However, this season has been highlighted with injuries and missed games. Mathews has just 246 rushing yards this season in four games played. There's no guarantee Rice would stay healthy or guide the Chargers to a Super Bowl, but there's not much of a risk when you're the third-best team in the AFC West. The 7-4 Chargers face the Ravens in Week 13 in Baltimore. Wouldn't it be something to watch Rice return to the field in a game against his former team?
4. Arizona Cardinals
In recent history, the Arizona Cardinals have been one of the worst rushing teams in the league. This franchise has been recycling running backs like there's no tomorrow. Even though the Cardinals are 9-2 this season, Carson Palmer is out for the season, and Drew Stanton is now the starter. Stanton could use Rice, as the Cardinals rush offense ranks a dreadful 31st in the NFL, second worst only to the Oakland Raiders.
Outside of Andre Ellington, the Cardinals don't have a single player with more than 85 rushing yards this season.
5. Detroit Lions
Why not the Lions?
They rank 30th in rushing yards, Reggie Bush is injured, and they have almost no one on the team with notable postseason winning experience. Joique Bell has been on five teams in the last four season for a reason. The Lions usually have an effective passing game with Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, but inconsistent running sometimes holds them back. The Lions haven't won the NFC North since 1993. Maybe taking a big risk is what's needed to dethrone the Green Bay Packers.
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