At least four teams have expressed interest in recently reinstated running back Ray Rice, including Indianapolis and New Orleans, though the Colts and Saints are not expected to pursue him, according to multiple league sources.
Two sources declined to identify the other two teams that have been checking into Rice.
It still will be difficult for Rice to find work this season. He turns 28 in January, is coming off a down season and hasn’t played football since training camp. But Rice signing this season is not out of the question, either, if the right team should emerge.
Multiple NFL executives have said the profile of a team willing to sign Rice would be one that is a contender with injuries in its backfield and a strong-minded head coach.
Rice is said to have stayed in great shape, and believes he could provide help to any team that signs him immediately. But Rice also is not locked into playing this year, as much as he’d like to, per sources.
One AFC running backs coach called Rice a “good player” but acknowledged there would be obstacles with how fast he could pick up a team’s offense.
“Some guys learn faster than others. They just do,” the coach told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “I don’t know what kind of shape he’s in. There are a bunch of different things. He’s going to have to get into shape, clearly because he hasn’t been hitting this year. You would think there would be some carryover … but he is a good player. He is a good player.”
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