Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice won’t report when the Ravens’ voluntary offseason workouts begin Monday, a source told the NFL Network.
Rice, 25, has yet to sign his $7.7 million franchise tag and isn’t expected to do so anytime soon. By putting the tag on Rice, the Ravens are only locked into the Pro Bowl running back for this season.
The Ravens have yet to give Rice long-term security, so why should he risk injury by participating in any team-related activity this spring?
Rice’s absence shouldn’t hurt the team even if it carries on through the start of training camp. He’s always reported to camp in tiptop shape, so there shouldn’t be any concerns about his conditioning and stamina. Also, Rice will be entering his fifth season in the same offensive system, which means he should have a good grasp on the playbook and shouldn’t be behind when he decides to return.
The deadline for teams to reach long-term deals with their franchise players is July 16. If Rice and the Ravens can’t come to terms on a deal by July 16, he’ll have to play the entire season under the tag.