As a veteran of raging controversy himself, Michael Vick wanted Ray Rice to know Wednesday he has an experienced shoulder to lean on.

Vick didn’t condone Rice knocking his then-fiancée unconscious on the video that got the Ravens running back released and suspended this week, but Vick says Rice — like himself — deserves a second chance.

“I’ll definitely reach out to Ray,” Vick said Wednesday. “He still has a friend over here in somebody who’s made a mistake and can understand where he’s coming from.”

And Vick, the recipient of a still-controversial reprieve from the NFL after his prison term for running a dogfighting ring, made it clear Rice — in time — should also be in line for a shot at redemption.

“I think everybody deserves a second chance — everybody,” Vick said. “It depends on the magnitude of the crime, obviously, but in this situation I think he deserves a second chance. There’s going to be a grace period, and Ray has to figure out what’s best for him moving forward.”

Other Jets and Giants who know Rice or were teammates with the New Rochelle native and former Rutgers star in Baltimore, meanwhile, stood up for Rice’s character without absolving him of his crime.
“I didn’t watch the video,” said Giants linebacker Jameel McClain, an ex-Ravens teammate of Rice’s. “As far as the guy I know and I’ve known Ray since college, I know him to be a great guy. That’s what I know. That’s all I can really go by.