More than 7,000 exchange Ray Rice jerseys in Ravens-sponsored event

Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston — the first two picks in last month’s NFL Draft — won’t go head-to-head until their Week 1 matchup down in Tampa Bay, but give Mariota the edge in the duo’s first competition since Winston was taken ahead of Mariota in the draft.

Trying to distance themselves from the Ray Rice controversy, the Baltimore Ravens staged a jersey exchange, where fans could exchange a Rice No. 27 jersey for one of another player, the Associated Press reported.

More than 7,000 fans showed up, and the Ravens handed out 5,595 new jerseys before running out during the day Saturday, team officials told the AP. The club issued another 2,400 vouchers to pick up new jerseys once shipments arrive in October.

Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said the club spent “six figures” on the exchange, but would not disclose the exact figure, the AP reported. Byrne added the turned-in jerseys would be given to companies who deal in scrap materials.

The AP reported that approximately 15 percent of fans seeking an exchaged were rejected because their jerseys were not officially licensed by the NFL or had not been available through the team’s online or stadium store.

Rice was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for events surrounding a domestic violence incident with his then-fiancee Janay Palmer.

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