The events of a day later would change all that.
On Friday morning the former Ravens running back issued another apology, this time addressed to the city of Baltimore, for what occurred on Valentine's Day 2014, when a video showed him punching out then-fiancee Janay Palmer and dragging her out of an elevator at an Atlantic City casino.
"To all the kids who looked up to me, I’m truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it’s helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare," Rice said in a statement to the Baltimore Sun. "There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives by raising awareness of this issue."
Rice was arrested on suspicion of assault after the incident but was cleared of criminal wrongdoing after participating in a program for first-time offenders. Rice was suspended for the incident -- first for two games and then indefinitely once the graphic video of the incident surfaced in September. He was also released by the Ravens at that time.
He was reinstated by the league in November after an arbitrator ruled he had been penalized twice for the same action. No team signed him the rest of the season.
Although Rice started his statement to Baltimore with, "This is not a farewell or goodbye," the Sun cites sources as saying Rice plans to move back to his home state of New York, where he hopes to restart his football career.
"The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives," Ray wrote. "From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown my family and I throughout my football career. We’ll always be grateful for the love we’ve received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl."
After thanking everyone in the Ravens organization, Rice finishes by saying, "I love you all very much, and I’ll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens."