The plot thickens, once again, in the Ray Rice saga

We all know how ridiculous this story is, and for how long it’s dragged on. What’s even more ridiculous is how Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL, has carried himself throughout this whole process. He suspended Josh Gordon, a Cleveland Browns wide receiver, for an entire season for pot possession, but was going to allow Ray Rice to play in Week 5 despite more-than-obvious evidence that he knocked his wife out in an Atlantic City elevator. Goodell’s half-baked apology came way too late, and was prompted only by the fact that a secondary TMZ video revealed exactly what everyone already knew, not because his conscience made him realize it was the right thing to do. He tried his best to weasel out of testifying in any of the subsequent hearings, and now, should Ozzie Newsome–the current GM of the Baltimore Ravens–be telling the truth, it’ll become official that Roger Goodell did everything in his power to cover-up, and turn a blind eye to, Rice’s actions.

According to Newsome’s testimony, Rice told Goodell about the assault when they met in June, three months before that fateful day TMZ released the startling footage of Rice punching his wife so hard she passed out. When asked about that meeting, Goodell claims Rice’s account of what happened was “inconsistent,” giving way for Goodell to not punish Rice as severely as he deserved to be. The following is an excerpt from a Sports Illustrated report.

Goodell has claimed that Rice’s account at the June 16 meeting was “ambiguous” and “inconsistent” with video released by TMZ that showed Rice punching Janay, who is now his wife.

Legal experts are saying Rice’s case is “strong,” and he could return to the NFL as early as this season. Getting a team to sign him, however, will be another battle.