OKLAHOMA CITY — The OIL's Arrogant Americans released RB Ray Rice today after gossip site TMZ released footage of the player punching his then-fiancée in a casino hotel elevator. Rice was suspended in February for two games for the altercation, and Arrogant Americans manager Justin C. Cliburn took a chance by drafting Rice in the sixth round of the 2014 OIL draft.
"At the time of the draft, all I knew was Rice was missing two games," Cliburn said. "At a sixth-round price tag, our organization felt he was worth the risk. Today, it blew up in our faces. We regret the pick."
But before cutting Rice, Cliburn attempted to trade the embattled RB to OIL manager Mike Schmidt. The Arrogant Americans and Schmidt's Dead Again franchise agreed to trade Rice and Roy Helu for Bishop Sankey and Kenny Stills.
"I saw the video of Rice punching his fiancée," Cliburn said. "And I knew two things: 1. Rice would be suspended for longer than his original two-game sentence; and 2. I no longer wanted him on my roster."
But shortly after the trade sending Rice to Dead Again, the NFL's Baltimore Ravens terminated his contract and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended the Super Bowl-winning RB indefinitely. League reaction to the trade, coupled with the indefinite suspension, was swift and fierce.
DominationStation manager Zachary Jessen said, if the trade was not vetoed, the league's recent move to third-party trade review would have been a mistake. Fourth Down Syndrome manager Justin Finch was even more outspoken:
"Typical [C]lyburn [sic] bullshit. I've come to expect some trade-raping on a weekly basis [from him]. I don't know why anyone ever thinks they are getting a good deal from him," Finch said. "[Yo]u should be ashamed," he added.
Cliburn was undeterred by the criticism. "As soon as we realized Rice would be cut, we contacted Schmidt and let him know we'd be ensuring the league commissioners vetoed the trade," Cliburn said. "I would lose all credibility in the OIL if I went through with this trade."
The Arrogant Americans and Dead Again trade was vetoed by the league office at 2:34 p.m. CST. It is unclear if another NFL or OIL team will take a chance on Rice at some point in the 2014 season, but Rice would have to apply for reinstatement to the NFL in order to play again in the NFL or the OIL. In Rice's place, the Americans will start the recently-acquired Zac Stacy at RB2. Andrew Hawkins will assume the W/R flex position as the Americans move to a five-WR offense.
By Arrogant Americans manager Justin C. Cliburn
The Baltimore Ravens released RB Ray Rice today, after video emerged of him knocking out his then-fiancée during a drunken argument. Here is the video:
In addition to the Ravens releasing the Super Bowl champion Rice, the NFL indefinitely suspended him from the league (citing new evidence). The NFL originally suspended Rice for two games.
I drafted Rice this year. With a two-game suspension, his value was lower and I felt it was a good risk/reward draft choice in the sixth round. I felt bad for it, but using him on my pretend football team did not mean I condoned his actions. Fantasy football is not "real." I wasn't paying him a salary. Ray Rice wasn't publicly representing the Arrogant Americans. We won the 2010 OIL Bowl championship with Michael Vick at QB, so we took a chance. Today, that chance blew up in our faces. When the video first emerged, I tried trading Rice. But I didn't know he would be cut. I assumed his suspension would be extended (perhaps to six games). I traded him to an original OIL manager and breathed a sigh of relief. But then the Ravens released Rice, and I knew what the right thing to do was. I vetoed the trade and instead outright released Rice from the Arrogant Americans roster.
I get a lot of grief about my trades. I "win" my trades more often than not. And I did here again, but gaining valuable players for a RB unlikely to play in the NFL this season was wrong. So the trade has been canceled. I hope I've retained your trust as the OIL commissioner.