OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens' stance on not acquiring players with a history of domestic violence is admirable. It speaks loudly about how serious the organization is taking this issue since the Ray Rice scandal, even more so than their charitable donations to the cause.
Still, maintaining this uncompromising position is going to be difficult. It might be unrealistic in this bottom-line NFL.
A team's success is based on whether it is hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, not staying out of the police blotter. A head coach won't hold onto his job if his players stay out of trouble and produce only a handful of wins year after year.
The draft's most talented wide receiver could fall into the Ravens' lap near the bottom of the first round, and the Ravens apparently won't consider taking Dorial Green-Beckham because he allegedly pushed a woman down some stairs. Green-Beckham was never arrested, but the Ravens presumably aren't interested in an impact playmaker based on an accusation.
There's no questioning that domestic violence is an important issue, and the NFL had to take a tougher approach when these incidents occur. But taking an extreme reaction like the Ravens are is a tough business model for success.
Randy Moss and Dez Bryant were two wide receivers who slipped to the bottom of the first round because of character concerns, and you won't hear the Minnesota Vikings or the Dallas Cowboys voicing any regrets about their decisions. It would be different if the Ravens decided to cross Green-Beckham off their draft board after interviewing him about the incident. But it sounds like the Ravens are moving on without asking one question to a receiver who could take their offense to the next level.
The same likely goes for wide receiver Brandon Marshall or cornerback Cary Williams if they're salary-cap casualties because of their domestic violence incidents. It's understandable why the Ravens are being extremely cautious about this issue after the number of hits to the organization's reputation over the past 12 months.
The problem with this "Ray Rice rule" is Rice didn't have any red flags when the Ravens drafted him. He was one of the most active members in the community before the video surfaced of him knocking out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City, New Jersey, elevator.
There's no way the Ravens can avoid another domestic violence issue with a player. According to FiveThirtyEight, domestic violence accounts for 48 percent of arrests for violent crimes among NFL players. The Ravens are just trying to do all they can to cut down their chances of an ordeal like last season's.
This is the right decision in terms of rebuilding the Ravens' reputation, but if Green-Beckham becomes the next Moss or Bryant, you can make the argument that it's not the right decision in building a championship team.