OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ray Rice stepped to the microphone, took a deep breath and spoke for 17 minutes about what he called “the biggest mistake of his life.”
His arrest for domestic violence against his then-fiancee last February is something Rice figures will haunt him long after NFL career has ended.
The Baltimore Ravens running back was arrested on assault charges following a Feb. 15 altercation in New Jersey in which he allegedly struck Janay Palmer. Rice has been accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being dropped.
“My actions that night were totally inexcusable,” said Rice, who during Ravens training camp Thursday spoke publicly for the first time since receiving a two-game suspension from the NFL.
“My daughter is 2 years old now. One day she’s going to know the power of Google. Me having to explain that to her, what happened that night, that’s something I have to live with the rest of my life.”
Rice was referring to a grainy video in which he is shown dragging Palmer, now his wife, from an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. He did not address the incident at an impromptu news conference in May, and although he refused to divulge details on Thursday, he dismissed the notion that he was provoked.
LYNCH ENDS HOLDOUT: In Renton, Wash., Marshawn Lynch joined Seattle Seahawks training camp after missing the first week.
Lynch arrived on Thursday afternoon following the team’s morning practice. The team confirmed Lynch has reported for camp, ending a holdout that spanned a week.
ESPN reported earlier Thursday that Lynch was expected to end his holdout. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said after practice that he did not know if Lynch was on the verge of reporting.
Lynch has missed the first week of training camp unhappy with his contract status. Lynch is scheduled to make $5 million in base salary for 2014 with additional roster bonuses available.
It’s the third year of a four-year deal Lynch signed before the 2012 season.
TOLIVER WAIVED, ROLAND SIGNS: In Bourbonnais, Ill., Chicago waived former LSU standout Terrence Toliver with an injury settlement and signed former Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Dennis Roland to a one-year contract.
The Bears also agreed to a one-year deal with offensive lineman Graham Pocic, and waived offensive tackle Cody Booth.
The 6-foot-9, 315-pound Roland started 30 of 71 games played with Cincinnati from 2008 to 2013. He is the son of former Southeastern Louisiana football coach Dennis Roland, who died in 2008.
Toliver spent last season on the Bears’ and San Diego Chargers’ practice squads. He also spent time with Houston in 2011 and Detroit in 2012.
DEFENSIVE TACKLE JERRY RETIRES: In Flowery Branch, Ga., the Atlanta Falcons have announced that defensive tackle Peria Jerry, a first-round draft pick from Mississippi in 2009, has decided to retire.
No reason was given by the team in its two-paragraph statement.
The Falcons re-signed Jerry to a new contract in March, not long after defensive tackles Jonathan Babineaux and Corey Peters agreed on new deals.
NEW SYSTEM IN STADIUMS TO MEASURE PLAYER STATS: In New York, NFL players will wear transmitters inside their shoulder pads this season to help measure stats such as how far they ran during a game.
The league said Thursday that it will install real-time location systems in 17 stadiums. The receivers located throughout the venue will collect data including position, speed and distance that will be compiled into a database. Coaches, broadcasters and fans will have access to these “next-generation” stats during the game.
The Zebra Technologies systems will be installed in Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Jacksonville, Miami, New England, New Orleans, Oakland, San Francisco, St. Louis and Washington. All but two of those stadiums are hosting Thursday night games.