Jonathan Ogden played for the Baltimore Ravens for 12 seasons. He was an 11-time Pro Bowler, a nine-time All Pro and helped the franchise win Super Bowl XXXV over the New York Giants.
But he never played with Ray Rice.
Indeed, Ogden, the fourth overall pick in 1996, retired after the 2007 season. In fact, he announced his retirement in June 2008 – less than two months after the Ravens drafted Rice out of Rutgers.
Although they were never teammates, Ogden, 41, believes Rice deserves a second chance in the NFL.
“Absolutely,” Ogden said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Absolutely. He’s the one guy who I really feel (has) done everything right since (the incident) as far as trying to be contrite about his situation and whatnot. (NFL teams) have to balance how much he has left in the tank versus what is it going to bring as far as the publicity. Unfortunately, his skills might be a little bit deteriorating. The combination of that and the video is just hard. People don’t want to bring him in.”
Rice, 29, was once one of the best running backs in football – if not the best running back in football. He accounted for 1,600+ total yards in four straight seasons, from 2009 to 2012, and twice eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark.
In February 2014, however, Rice assaulted his then-fiancee, now-wife in a casino elevator in Atlantic City. He hasn’t played a down in the NFL ever since.
In his final season, in 2013, Rice rushed for a career-low 3.1 yards per carry and finished with 660 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
“He’s really done a tremendous job since (the elevator incident by) being a spokesman for domestic abuse and everything,” Ogden said. “So I hope he gets another chance.”