The Baltimore Ravens plan to announce that will be using their franchise tag on running back Ray Rice, according to Pro Football Talk, which reported Wednesday night that the tag was looming for Rice.
It was a forgone conclusion that the Ravens would use the tag on Rice. Even his agent, Todd France, said earlier this week that he knew it was coming.
Rice, 25, is seeking a long-term contract similar to that of Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, who received a seven-year, $100 million ($36 million guaranteed) from the Vikings prior to the start of the 2011 season. Once Rice is tagged, he’ll be locked in for one year at an estimated $7.7 million, which gives the two sides more time to negotiate a long-term deal.
The Ravens have had the propensity of working out deals with high-profile players after using the tag on them. Those names include Chris McAlister, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata, who all signed long-term extensions after being slapped with the tag.
Rice led the the NFL last season with 2,068 total yards from scrimmage, rushing for a career-high 1,364 yards and 12 touchdowns while hauling in 76 receptions for 704 yards and three touchdowns.
The deadline for teams to use the franchise tag on players is March 5.