Speaking to the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec at the NFL owners meetings, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said he doesn't envision a scenario where Ray Rice is not with the franchise in 2014.
Just spoke to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. Aggressively stood by RB Ray Rice. Said there's no circumstance where Rice's not w team in '14.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 24, 2014
Bisciotti admitted he was shocked when he heard about incident w/Rice. Said Rice is going to have to live with incident for rest of life— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 24, 2014
Bisciotti on Rice: "He's going to be here."— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiecsun) March 24, 2014
One thing to consider here: This could easily be a smokescreen to keep this story out of the national media for days to come. Drawing additional attention to Rice right now would bring the story back to the forefront of the national press.
Standing behind Rice at this time won't hurt the organization as much from a general perspective. Sure, there will be those upset about the stance and they have plenty of valid points. But if anything surfaces later with the investigation, Bisciotti can always backtrack, condemn and say he didn't know it at the time of his comment.
If nothing materializes, then he and the organization stood by Rice and can now move forward. To me, this seems more like a tactical move, and one the organization probably felt was needed to make when presented with the question.