The Baltimore Ravens signed running back Ray Rice to a five-year deal for $40 million today. At the beginning of the offseason the Ravens decided to franchise Ray Rice, and they had until July 16th 5:00pm EST to give Rice a contract extension. If Rice were to have been tagged with the franchise this season, he would have made roughly $7.7 million. However, since Rice agreed to the extension deal with the Ravens, he will make $17 million this season and $8 million in 2013.
Ray Rice led the league in total yards from scrimmage last season, with 2,068. Since the Ravens drafted Rice in 2008, they have made the playoffs all four years. In Rice’s four playoff stints with the Ravens, they advanced to the AFC Championship game twice. Rice has also been awarded with two Pro Bowl selections. Rice set career highs in rushing yards and touchdowns last season, finishing with 1,364 yards and 12 touchdowns. Rice’s 1,364 rushing yards were good enough for second in the NFL, behind only the Jaguars’ Maurice Jones-Drew. Rice’s twelve rushing touchdowns were good enough for third in the NFL, behind only Cam Newton and LeSean McCoy
Ray Rice has only played sixty-one games with the Ravens, but he ranks second in franchise history for rushing yards with 4,377 and for yards from scrimmage with 6,612. Rice also provides Baltimore with a receiving threat. He led the Ravens in receptions with 76 last season. Even though the Ravens have two dynamic receivers in Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, they still look to Rice as a reliable receiver out of the backfield.
With the Ravens re-signing Rice to a five-year deal, the backup position will be decided by a competition between Bernard Pierce, Anthony Allen, Damien Berry, and Bobby Rainey. Re-signing Rice was the first step to ensuring that the Ravens remain Super Bowl contenders for the long term and get back to the AFC Championship game next year. Rice is expected to join the team on July 26th for their first full team workout.