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Ray Rice's appeal to include argument TMZ edited video

The Baltimore Sun

CLEVELAND -- The NFL Players Association will argue in its appeal of former Ravens running back Ray Rice's indefinite suspension that the video resulting in the increased punishment was edited, sources said today.  

The video posted by celebrity website TMZ on Sept. 8 showed Rice punching his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, in February in an Atlantic City casino elevator. After the video surfaced, the Ravens terminated Rice's contract and the NFL made his two-game suspension an indefinite one.  

Besides asking for Rice to be reinstated, sources said the players' union will try to recover Rice's $3.529 million salary for the 2014 season.

During the appeal, sources said, the players' union will argue that Rice was punished twice, citing the concept of "double jeopardy" and that the NFL and Ravens had disciplined Rice more than once and going against Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement that states that only "One Punishment" is allowed for a single offense.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a letter to the NFLPA on Sept. 12 that Rice's punishment was increased because the new video evidence was "starkly different" from Rice's account of the events that led to Rice being arrested and later charged with felony aggravated assault.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome told The Baltimore Sun that Rice didn't lie to him about the incident.

Multiple sources have told The Sun that Rice didn't lie to the Ravens or the NFL during his meetings about the physical altercation that rendered his wife unconscious.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, the NFL has 10 days from the filing of the appeal to set a hearing date.

Rice has consulted with several lawyers and is contemplating legal action against the NFL and the Ravens beyond the appeal for lost earnings and has met with a crisis management firm, according to sources.

Rice also is considering selling his home in Reisterstown and may move back to New York. Rice grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y., where he was once a celebrated high school running back at New Rochelle High School. The school took down Rice's jersey from the school gymnasium after the video surfaced. 

Meanwhile, former FBI director Robert Mueller is investigating the NFL's handling and pursuit of evidence in the Rice case.

Ravens team president Dick Cass worked previously at the same D.C. law firm as Mueller..

Cass and Mueller didn't overlap at WilmerHale and haven't worked together. Cass worked at the firm from 1972 to 2002 where he was chairman of the firm's business transactions section and a member of its management committee.

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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