New revelations suggest that after Ray Rice was arrested for domestic violence, the Ravens organization was very concerned about protecting their star player and keeping the video under wraps, reports CBS News correspondent Chip Reid.
The Baltimore Ravens insist they didn't see the now-infamous video of Rice allegedly assaulting his wife until it was released by TMZ Sports. But according to ESPN, within hours of the incident in February, the team's head of security, Darren Sanders, was given a detailed description of the video -- including the punch.
Ray Rice's defense lawyer, Michael Diamondstein, who had a copy of the tape, reportedly told Raven's president Dick Cass that the video was "[expletive] horrible."
Raven's owner Steve Bisciotti admitted to NFL Today host James Brown that the team didn't do enough to get the tape.
"If I had said to Ray and his attorney, I can't keep you on this team until I see that tape -- I would have seen the tape and I would have sent it to Roger," Biscotti said.
But ESPN says the team lobbied Roger Goodell for leniency and also launched an all-out effort to get Rice into a one-year diversion program -- a move that helped Rice avoid a trial in which the disturbing video could have been made public.
The report also says Raven's coach John Harbaugh wanted Rice to be cut from the team right away. But he was overruled by his bosses -- Cass, Bisciotti, and general manager Ozzie Newsome.
Harbaugh said Sunday he stood by the initial decision to keep Rice.
"Every single football decision we make, we work together. Just like every football decision," Harbaugh said. "You get together, you hash it out. Ozzie uses the term scrimmaging. You scrimmage it out, everybody's got their own opinions."
When the Ravens finally terminated Rice's contract earlier this month, Bisciotti sent text messages offering him a job with the team down the road -- something ESPN says Rice interpreted as a way to keep him quiet.
Bisciotti told Brown the texts were a genuine offer of help.
"I tried to communicate to him that we were not bailing out on him as a man," Biscotti explained. "But that we will be there for him in his rehabilitation and his opportunity as he grows."