Back in September, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tabbed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead an independent investigation to figure out what the NFL did and didn't know in regards to evidence in the Ray Rice case.
Mueller's investigation was finished Thursday, and the results have been released to the public. His investigation found that the NFL did not receive the in-elevator video before its public release via TMZ.
Mueller's report did include a portion noting 'The Ravens, however, did receive in late February a detailed description of the in-elevator video from a lieutenant at ACPD'.
In other words, they knew what was on the video of Rice knocking his wife out unconscious on the Atlantic City casino elevator, but chose to keep him until the video was made public in September before cutting him.
Oh, and there's this:
Mueller report says Ravens security head blamed Ray Rice fiancé unconsciousness more on being intoxicated than violence from Rice. Wow.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) January 8, 2015
Here is part of the press release made available here:
The investigation found no evidence that the NFL received the in-elevator video before its public release on September 8, 2014.
With regard to the question about the information available to the NFL, the report includes the following findings:
The NFL’s deference to law enforcement "can foster an environment in which it is less important to understand precisely what a player did than to understand how and when the criminal justice system addresses the event."
The NFL’s deference to the law enforcement process involving Mr. Rice "led to deficiencies in the League’s collection and analysis of information during its investigation."
The NFL had "substantial information suggesting a serious event had occurred inside the elevator that the League should have further investigated." Had the League done so, "it may have uncovered additional information about the incident, possibly including the in-elevator video prior to its public release."
Summarizing the results of the investigation, Mr. Mueller said:
"We found no evidence that anyone at the NFL had or saw the in-elevator video before it was publicly shown. We also found no evidence that a woman at the NFL acknowledged receipt of that video in a voicemail message on April 9, 2014.
"We concluded there was substantial information about the incident – even without the in-elevator video – indicating the need for a more thorough investigation. The NFL should have done more with the information it had, and should have taken additional steps to obtain all available information about the February 15 incident."
Here is a link to the entire 96-page Mueller report.