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Steve Bisciotti questions sources in Ray Rice report

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Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said Monday that an extensive ESPN.com report questioning how the Ravens and NFL handled the Ray Rice assault case was built upon sources looking out for the best interests of the suspended running back.

The Ravens distributed a point-by-point rebuttal to ESPN's report minutes before Bisciotti's 48-minute press conference at Ravens headquarters.

"I think that what's obvious is that the majority of the (ESPN) sources are people that work for Ray," Bisciotti said. "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 it's Ray's friends. And 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."

"Their accusations didn't jive with what we knew as fact."

ESPN's "Outside The Lines" reported that it spoke with more than 20 sources over 11 days before publishing its report last Friday. "Outside The Lines" cited team officials, current and former league officials, NFL Players Association representatives as well as associates, advisers and friends of Rice.

Bisciotti said he's "deeply sorry" the Ravens "didn't push harder to get the (casino elevator) tape" and now sees the team had "leverage to get it from (Rice's) lawyer." The owner added that no Ravens employees will be let go as a result of how the situation was handled.

"Nobody's losing a job here," he said.

Bisciotti said he initially expected Rice would be suspended four-to-six games and was "surprised as anybody" when Rice's initial ban was just two games. He denied that his post-release text to Rice offering post-career employment was "hush money" in exchange for team cooperation. Rice was offended by Bisciotti's offer, according to the ESPN report.

"I cut a guy making $6 million a year," Bisciotti said. "If I'm promising him to be by his side and hire him for $100,000 a year five years from now so that he can help Harry Swayne in our player development department ... if that is considered worthy of him going along, I find that rather that absurd. Because it would take him 250 years to make back the $25 million that I took away from him by cutting him."

Bisciotti maintains he would forgive Rice and still offer him a job in the future.

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