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Ray Rice Becomes Free Agent As Fans Weigh In On Appeal Against NFL

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Ray Rice is now a free agent after winning an appeal against an NFL suspension that was handed down for punching his then-fiancee.

And as CBS2's Ilana Gold reported, experts believe there's a good chance he'll get signed.

In an interview with NBC, Janay Rice described what she was thinking the night her fiance- now husband- hit her in the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel and casino.

"I just didn't want to entertain it, entertain him, anything he had to say, any explanation. Of course, in the back of my mind and in my head, I knew that our relationship wouldn't be over. Because I know that this isn't us and it's not him," she told NBC.

At first, the NFL suspended Rice for two games. Months later, Commissioner Roger Goodell changed that to indefinite suspension.

On Friday, an arbitrator overturned that punishment saying Rice did not lie.

As the scandal intensified, the Ray Rice gear disappeared from the racks at Times Square Modell's.

On Saturday, CBS2's Dave Carlin spoke with fans about the latest developments.

"He'll be lucky to get another team," football fan Harry Kreitzman said.

"I think some teams are going to be desperate enough to take him," Chris Prazych said.

Rice was already receiving plenty of support from fans in his hometown of New Rochelle Saturday morning, but others weren't so forgiving.

"I think he deserves a second chance," one fan said.

"He deserves that. He's a good guy. He's done a lot of things here in New Rochelle to help," another said.

Sports fans doing their holiday shopping in Times Square Friday night questioned the arbitrator's ruling, and some said there should be stipulations.

"As for him being forgiven that easy, I don't know," football fan Curtis Golphin said.

"He should possibly give a huge part of his salary to an organization for battered women. That would be good," one woman said.

Rice was suspended indefinitely by the league after video surfaced in September of the former Ravens running back punching his now-wife in an Atlantic City elevator.

On Friday, former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones said Commissioner Roger Goodell's decision in September to change Rice's original suspension from two games to indefinite was "arbitrary" and an "abuse of discretion."

The NFL responded to the ruling, saying it respects the judge's decision to reinstate Rice.

But the star football player's legal battle isn't over yet. He filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Ravens, and if he wins, he'll received more than $3 million in backpay, Gold reported.

The NFL says it will announce new revisions to its personal conduct policy in the coming weeks.

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