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Ray Rice: "Window for playing is closing"

By Alex Butler
Ray Rice: "Window for playing is closing"
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

BALTIMORE, July 15 (UPI) -- He was once one of the NFL's most promising offensive threats.

Now Ray Rice is on the outside looking in, following his domestic violence arrest and release of the video showing the ugly altercation.

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Rice, 29, spoke to NJ.com Thursday, before playing in Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton's charity softball game, about his status as a free agent.

In January, Rice told TMZ that he wasn't giving up on his NFL career.

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"Honestly, I'm never going to give up," Rice told TMZ. "You don't want to give up something you started. You want to finish the right way."

The Baltimore Ravens cut him in 2014, after the video surfaced of him punching his fiancée in an Atlantic City casino elevator.

"I'm training, but I'm more training for life," Rice told NJ.com. "I think it's safe to say that football...I don't want to ever say I'm giving up, because that's never going to be me...I'm happy. I'm in the best shape of my life, and I know if it doesn't happen this year, it's probably something I have to deal with. But you know what? It's not the end of my life.

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"I know that the window for playing is closing," Rice said. "But if my window closes, I'm going to make sure I open up a thousand more opportunities for kids, to give them an opportunity to pick up where I left off. That's where I'm at. I've got three Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl. There's a lot of people that can't go out there and do what I did. But I don't want it to end that way, it's safe to say."

Before his arrest, Rice compiled 1,430 carries, for 6,180 yards and 37 rushing touchdowns. He also had 369 receptions for six touchdowns in six pro seasons. Rice led the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage in 2011. He was a three-time Pro-Bowl selection and a member of the 2012 Super Bowl championship team.

Rice signed a 5-year, $35 million contract in 2012. He has already cashed in $25 million. The Ravens absorbed a $9.5 million cap hit last season, but did not have to pay his $3 million base salary in 2015 or in 2016.

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