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Ravens face trouble with new ESPN allegations involving Ray Rice case

As they say, the cover-up is often worse than the crime.

Maxwell Kruger-USA TODAY Sports

If the daytime television soap opera folks need any ideas for a new material, just look at the Ravens as an example.

What's unfolded since February offers everything.

1) Violent altercation between lovers, with one being a high-profile person.

2) A powerful group coming to said high-profile person's rescue.

3) A bunch of naive old people not aware of the digital age, much less TMZ.

4) People were clued in as to what actually happened, but trying to navigate a cover-up.

5) When everything hit the fan, the last resort is to sell out the person they tried to protect -- with a mafia-minded owner offering a job in the form of hush money.

This is bad, folks. The allegations ESPN writers Kevin Van Valkenburg and Don Van Natta Jr. have put out there, based upon the reporting they've done over the past 11 days, puts the Ravens in a position where it looks like they knew exactly what transpired that February night at Revel Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.

It will be interesting to see how the Ravens' front office addresses this. If they can at all. They've effectively been pushed in a corner with everyone peering in, believing they knowingly decided to protect a player that punched his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in the face. Coach John Harbaugh wanted him gone from the onset, the report states. No one else did. And instead, the organization allegedly tried to figure out a way to keep Rice instead of cutting ties from the beginning.

Clearly there was a financial motivation to do so. But there was a moral obligation to go the other route from the beginning. But yet again, here's a group of old men who simply do not understand the digital age, that somehow didn't quite think that this second video would ever get out. Of course it would get out. It was inevitable.

But throughout the lengthy investigative piece, I came away with two takeaways:

1) Team president Dick Cass comes across as a snake. He's painted as the guy who knew what was going on from the onset but wanted to navigate a cover-up. He and Rice's attorney, Michael J. Diamondstein, figured a pretrial diversion program would work best, since the contents of the video would be concealed. But here's the thing about Cass -- you can argue from a business standpoint that what Cass did was in the best interest of the team. But once the video went public, he told The Baltimore Sun that Rice's version of the events didn't match what they thought they knew, right after Ozzie Newsome said Rice didn't lie. Instead of doing what was right from the beginningShame on all of the Baltimore media, including us, for not making more out of that.

2) Bisciotti comes across as a mafia-minded boss with the hush money offer. He knew about the tape's contents and pushed a different narrative until he couldn't anymore. Then he offers Rice a deal in the form of a future job, hoping to maintain a relationship so that he wouldn't go public.

OK, there's one more takeaway: The Ravens front office, outside of Harbaugh, never cared about the issue of domestic violence. They hoped this could go away, like plenty of other NFL cases in the past, including Terrell Suggs, who has been linked to domestic violence issues numerous times. But in this instance, it couldn't go away. No high-priced lawyer could get the Ravens out of this mess, when everything was caught by camera in a digital age where an outlet like TMZ can buy the footage and expose it to everyone.

Now the Ravens are in a huge mess. A Donald Sterling type of mess. Cover-ups rarely work out in the end. Just ask Richard Nixon.