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John Harbaugh: 'I did not recommend cutting Ray Rice'

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The Baltimore Ravens on Monday released a statement responding to ESPN.com's "Outside the Lines" feature on the Ray Rice situation.

Promising to be "open, candid and transparent with our fans, sponsors, ticket holders, and the general public," the team rejected the article's claim that coach John Harbaugh urged the Ravens to release Rice soon after seeing footage of the running back's February arrest on assault charges.

"... The images (on the first videotape) horrified Ravens coach John Harbaugh, according to four sources inside and outside the organization," ESPN.com reported. "The Super Bowl-winning coach urged his bosses to release Rice immediately, especially if the team had evidence Rice had thrown a punch. ... But Harbaugh's recommendation to cut the six-year veteran running back was quickly rejected by Ravens management: owner (Steve) Bisciotti, team president (Dick) Cass and GM (Ozzie) Newsome."

Harbaugh says that isn't so:

"I did not recommend cutting Ray Rice from the team after seeing the first videotape," Harbaugh said in the statement. "I was very disturbed by that tape, and I told people that the facts should determine the consequences. When I saw the second videotape, I immediately felt that we needed to release Ray."

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