Advertisement

Ozzie Newsome, Dick Cass to testify at Ray Rice's appeal hearing, sources say

Ozzie Newsome, Dick Cass to testify at Ray Rice's appeal hearing, sources say
Ravens executives Dick Cass and Ozzie Newsome. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun)

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and team president Dick Cass have been informed in a ruling by a third-party arbitrator that they must testify at the appeal hearing for Ray Rice, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Former federal judge Barbara S. Jones determined that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has to testify in Rice's hearing, which is set for Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, along with the Ravens' executives and Rice, according to sources.

Advertisement

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and director of team security Darren Sanders weren't included in Jones' ruling of who must testify in the hearing, according to sources.

Newsome and Cass attended Rice's meeting with Goodell in New York along with Rice's wife, Janay. Newsome, Cass and Goodell are expected to be questioned by Rice's attorney, Peter Ginsberg, along with NFL Players Association outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler.

Goodell originally suspended Rice for two games for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy then increased his punishment to an indefinite suspension, saying that Rice's version of events differed from the video that surfaced of him hitting Janay in a casino elevator in Atlantic City, N.J. Rice will testify that he told the truth to Goodell and the Ravens about the domestic violence incident, according to sources.

In a lengthy statement issued by the Ravens' public relations department Sept. 22 rebutting an ESPN article, Newsome stated: "When I met with Ray to discuss the incident, I asked him one question: 'Did you hit her?' He responded: 'Yes.' Ray and I didn't discuss details beyond that, because in my mind if he hit her, no matter the circumstances or explanation, he needed to own the situation. I immediately focused on Ray taking responsibility and making amends. I later said Ray didn't lie to me because he told me he hit her, and that is what the video later showed -- although the video was much more violent than what I had pictured."

Rice's representatives will argue that his rights were violated under Article 46 of the collective bargaining agreement, which doesn't allow a player to be disciplined twice for the same offense. They also will argue that the NFL based its disciplinary decision on an edited video obtained by the celebrity website, TMZ.

The NFL had no immediate comment on Jones' ruling, but Goodell said during the fall league meeting that whether he testified would be at the judge's discretion. League spokesman Brian McCarthy previously told The Baltimore Sun: "We intend to comply with the confidentiality order entered by Judge Jones regarding the appeal proceedings."

A three-time Pro Bowl running back, Rice filed a separate grievance against the Ravens for wrongful termination. The Ravens terminated Rice's $35 million contract Sept. 8. Rice is seeking his $3.529 million salary for this season.

Rice was paid $25 million by the Ravens, including a $15 million signing bonus, a $7 million option bonus and base salaries of $1 million and $2 million for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

The Ravens haven't commented on the grievance or the pending appeal hearing.

Advertisement
Advertisement