Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice must be sitting somewhere smiling after seeing what Houston’s Arian Foster and Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch signed for this past weekend, which helped set the market for free-agent running backs.
After slapping the franchise tag on Rice last Friday, the Ravens are in the process of working out a long-term deal with Rice.
Foster, who inked a five-year, $43.5 million deal with the Texans, will get $20.75 million guaranteed, while Lynch’s, four-year, $31.5 million deal guarantees him $18 million.
Rice, 25, is every bit as valuable and productive as Foster. His 2,068 total yards from scrimmage were the most in the NFL last year and he earned his second trip to the Pro Bowl in his first four seasons. He should receive a deal closer to what Foster got based on his overall numbers and value.
The Ravens and Rice have until July 16 to work out a long-term deal, and if they can’t, Rice must play under the franchise tag all season.
But after Foster and Lynch set the bar with their signings, there’s a lot more for the Ravens and Rice to talk about, which could only help speed up the process.