Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is in the last year of his rookie contract he signed after being drafted in the second-round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Rice’s deal was a four-year, $3.16 million deal, which included a $1.1 million signing bonus.
Obviously, Rice, a Pro Bowler is headed for a bigger payday. The question now becomes, will it come in the form of a long-term extension, or will he be designated as the Ravens’ franchise player?
Either way, it looks as though it’s a lock that Rice will be back with the Ravens in 2012.
“I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere, that I can almost assure,” Rice told Aaron Wilson of The Carroll County Times. “Obviously when you’re in this situation, there’s nothing that would make me think that I would be anywhere else. I love it here. The city, the team, the organization, they all feel the same way.”
With three games left in the regular season, Rice has already surpassed the 1,000 yard rushing mark (1,029) and has an AFC-high 10 rushing touchdowns. He’s also caught 62 passes for 593 yards and has two receiving touchdowns. In fact, Rice is the only player in the NFL with 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards.
With the year that Rice has had thus far, it’ll be interesting to see what he demands in terms of years and dollars from Owner Steve Bisciotti and General Manager Ozzie Newsome. Tennessee Titans running back, Chris Johnson, who held out of training camp this past summer, received a six-year, $55.26 million contract.
There’s no doubt in my mind the Ravens will open up the checkbook and do whatever it takes to keep Rice here in Baltimore. Just from the standpoint of what he means to this city, team and franchise, there’s no way the Ravens’ front-office will let a running back and a talent as dynamic as Ray Rice slip away from them and hit the open market.