Ray Rice, hoping to resume his football career next season but understanding that it won't be with the Ravens, released a statement thanking the team, the fans, and the city of Baltimore, and apologizing to those he disappointed when he punched out his fiancée.

The statement was issued to and published in today's Baltimore Sun:

Dear Baltimore,

This is not a farewell or goodbye. The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you've shown my family and I throughout my football career. We'll always be grateful for the love we've received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl. To all the kids who looked up to me, I'm truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it's helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people's lives by raising awareness of this issue. Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for all you have done for my family and I. I'm very grateful to Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, and everyone at 1 Winning Drive. I love you all very much, and I'll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens.

Thank you.

— Ray Rice

The Sun reports that the free-agent Rice is moving from Maryland to New York, from where he hopes to impress in workouts and catch on with another team next season.

[Baltimore Sun]