INDIANAPOLIS -- Ray Rice hasn't been part of the Baltimore Ravens for 17 months, but the impact of his domestic violence scandal still affects the team's draft process.
Even though general manager Ozzie Newsome didn't mention Rice by name, everyone at the NFL combine knew what he was alluding to when asked about how the Ravens now deal with players who have red flags.
"Will we draft someone that has a sexual assault with what we went through? We won't," Newsome said. "That came down from my owner. Those players that have that in their background, we stay away from them."
In 2014, team officials supported Rice for months after he was arrested but Baltimore abruptly cut the three-time Pro Bowl running back in September when a video emerged of him punching his then-fiancee Janay Palmer. Last year, Newsome said it would be difficult for the Ravens to consider anyone who had domestic abuse in their background.
By Newsome reiterating Baltimore's stance, it might take Rutgers wide receiver Leonte Carroo off their board. Carroo, a projected third-round pick, was arrested in September for a domestic violence assault (charges were later dropped) and was suspended for two games by the school.
Newsome indicated that the Ravens won't avoid every prospect with a character issue and he pointed out how the team's scouts do extensive research on players' backgrounds. The interview process at the Senior Bowl, NFL combine and pre-draft visits to the team's facility also play a factor in the evaluation of red-flag players.
"We look at every case in a very separate and individual manner," Newsome said.
So, what is Newsome's rule in making decisions on players with character issues?
"Respect for the game and respect for their fellow man, for their teammates and for their opponents, that's kind of where I draw the line," Newsome said. "We dealt with players who once we get them in the building, they do change."