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Players had no questions about Ravens' handling of Ray Rice situation, sources say

CLEVELAND -- During Ravens coach John Harbaugh's team meeting Saturday, he broached the topic of whether players had any questions about the organization's handling of the controversial Ray Rice situation.

None of the players had any questions for their coach, according to sources.

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One source noted that it's extremely unlikely and "unrealistic" that players would ask questions in that kind of forum about an off-the-field situation and are maintaining their focus on Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

Another source emphasized that players remain supportive of their former teammate in terms of hoping that he and his wife, Janay, are doing well following their high-profile domestic violence incident, but they primarily are concerned about their season.

Rice's $35 million contract was terminated after a video surfaced of him knocking out his wife in a casino elevator in February. Initially suspended for two games for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy, Rice later was indefinitely suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell.

The NFL Players Association filed a grievance on behalf of Rice, appealing the upgraded punishment that Goodell said in a letter resulted from new video evidence in his opinion having surfaced that contradicted Rice's account of the events of the February incident that led to Rice being arrested and later charged with felony aggravated assault.

During their 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.

The players' union is also expected to argue that TMZ, the celebrity website that posted the video, edited the video and that the NFL based its upgraded discipline against Rice on an altered video, sources confirmed.

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

Multiple sources have repeatedly 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.

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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