-- The Baltimore Ravens terminated running back Ray Rice's contract on Monday, hours after TMZ Sports released a video showing him punching his then-fiancée in the face in an Atlantic City hotel elevator in February.
The team had no other comment in its statement announcing Rice's release.
Rice's assault on Janay Palmer, who he married in March, drew a two-game suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell -- a penalty so severely criticized as too lenient that Goodell recently revamped the league's personal conduct policies covering domestic violence and assault.
The NFL says it never saw the video until Monday. The grainy video apparently shows Rice and Janay Palmer in an elevator at the Revel Casino on Feb. 15. Each hits the other before Rice knocks Palmer off her feet and into a railing. Earlier video of Rice dragging Palmer from the elevator has been shown repeatedly, but the video shown Monday showed Rice striking Palmer twice, the second time apparently rendering her unconscious.
Earlier Monday, league spokesman Brian McCarthy regarding the video: "We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today."
A Revel spokesperson told ABC News that the hotel gave a copy of the video posted by TMZ Sports to the police. The hotel, which closed Sept. 2, says it did not give it to TMZ.
Rice's suspension -- he also was fined more than $500,000 by Goodell -- was scheduled to end after the Ravens' upcoming game against the rival Steelers on Thursday. He had three years remaining on his contract at $4 million this season, $3 million next season and $3 million in 2016. The Ravens will not owe Rice any money .
In the NFL's revamped policy against domestic violence, first-time offenders will be suspended for six games while players will receive a lifetime ban for a second offense.
"I made the biggest mistake of my life," Rice said in a news conference when the Ravens returned to camp in late July. "I want to own it."
After drawing heavy criticism, Goodell wrote a letter to NFL owners, saying, "I didn't get it right." He also wrote: "My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future reflect our values."
TMZ's release of the video Monday spawned reaction that went beyond the sports world, but some of the strongest criticism came from Rice's peers. One of them, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton of the Broncos, tweeted, "As players we must speak up. Stand up for what's right. I don't give a damn who u are or how much money you make. No place for this."