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Will a team sign Ray Rice?

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Now that former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is eligible to return to the NFL, the question is whether any team will sign him.

Although NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport has not been able to find an organization that would sign Rice this season, former Ravens coach Brian Billick opined on Friday's edition of NFL Playbook that Rice "definitely will have a home in the next couple of weeks."

Rice hasn't played since early August. Rapoport reports the running back is in great shape, but any interested team will want to bring him in for a workout to confirm.

Several league executives predicted, via The Baltimore Sun, that Rice will play again, albeit not until next season.

History speaks loudly in the cases of players ostracized for reasons of personal conduct and criminal activity.

Leonard Little, Donte' Stallworth and Josh Brent were all given second chances following vehicular homicides.

Much like Rice, Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick were radioactive in the immediate aftermath of sexual assault allegations and a dog-fighting scandal, respectively.

After a cooling off period, though, both stars were welcomed back by NFL teams.

There's little question that teams would have lined up for a player with Adrian Peterson's transcendent talent if he became available, but Rice is viewed with a more skeptical eye. A nagging hip injury left him with no semblance of playmaking ability in 2013.

A slimmed-down Rice, however, did regain his old burst in training camp and looked noticeably quicker on five preseason touches. It only takes one team to reason that he has served his suspension and owned up to the judicial process.

NFL Media analyst Charley Casserly suggested the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals as potential landing spots, as both teams put in waiver claims on new Minnesota Vikings tailback Ben Tate last week.

"I think the team that could take him ... would have to be a team that's a playoff contender, where the fans are excited about going to the playoffs, and would have to be a team that has excellent public standing in the community," Casserly outlined.

From a dot-connecting perspective, then, Indianapolis would be a logical suitor. With Ahmad Bradshaw out for the season and Trent Richardson continuing to run in quicksand, the Colts have a backfield need for a player of Rice's skill set.

It's no small factor that Rice has a strong relationship with coach Chuck Pagano, who was formerly the defensive coordinator in Baltimore.

"I think (interested) teams can walk in and say we believe in Ray Rice," Casserly explained. "We believe this is a one-time thing. We don't think it's going to happen again. We don't condone it. But we believe in Ray Rice right now. I think that those communities and teams like that who have a positive view public relations wise in their community and are contending for playoffs, I think that they could sell it."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews the Week 13 games and reacts to the news of RGIII's benching in D.C. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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