The Ravens have released running back Ray Rice hours after TMZ posted the surveillance video showing Rice punching his soon-to-be wife, Janay Palmer, in an Atlantic City hotel elevator last February.

Rice can be seen punching Palmer in the face, knocking her out cold, before dragging her limp body out of the elevator. Everyone -- fans, media, politicians, former players -- has expressed outrage on every available medium, including television, radio and social media, at not only the failed legal system, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Rice's team, the Baltimore Ravens.

In July, the NFL suspended Rice for two games, a decision that was widely criticized.  A month later, Goodell, in a letter to owners  announcing a new domestic violence policy, admitted that he got Rice's punishment wrong.

"I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn't get it right.  Simply put, we have to do better."

Less than two weeks after Goodell's admission, TMZ released the surveillance video that neither the league nor the Ravens said they had seen previously. But because the NFL had already disciplined Rice, the collective bargaining agreement could have prevented the Ravens from leveling additional sanctions.

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported Monday afternoon that, according to Article 46 of the CBA, a player can only be disciplined once -- by either the commisioner or the team -- for the same act or conduct. The Ravens got around that by releasing Rice outright.

Meanwhile, the league announced Monday afternoon that, "based on new video evidence that became available today (Goodell) has indefinitely suspended Ray Rice."

Ray Rice and his now-wife Janay Parker at a news conference about the assault in May.
Ray Rice and his now-wife Janay Palmer at a news conference about the assault in May. (USATSI)

With the video now public, there have been questions as to why Rice was allowed to enter a Pre-Trial Intervention Program and did not face steeper discipline. It is also unclear why the NFL and the Ravens claim they did not see the video as part of their own investigations.

Jay McKeen, a spokesman for the Atlantic County DA's office in New Jersey that struck the plea deal with Rice in his assault case, would not comment on what evidence prosecutors turned over to the NFL as part of the league's investigation.

In regards to an inquiry into why the video evidence did not result in a stiffer penalty, McKeen referred CBS to the May 2014 press release his department issued after the deal was struck and declined to answer further questions. Regarding which videos, if any, the NFL was granted access to, McKeen declined further comment, explaining: “The issue is outside our purview.”

Rice met with the media in late July, shortly after training camp opened, and was asked if he was prepared to meet the criticism he would likely face.

"I'm prepared for the worst but that's something I've brought upon myself," he said at the time. "I have my teammates, my wife, my family, people close to me who will help me through this. ... I know that I love kids, that I love helping people, and that I will be an ambassador against domestic violence. ...

"That's who I'm going to be as a person, that's who I'm going to be as a man. ... Domestic violence has no place in this world -- especially man on woman -- and I have to live with (that) the rest of my life."

A life that now no longer includes professional football.

As for the financial ramifications of Rice's release, here are some details from former agent Joel Corry: