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Ravens Intend To Franchise Ray Rice Following The Season

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported over the weekend that the Baltimore Ravens plan on using their franchise tag on RB Ray Rice, 24, who is in the final year of his rookie contract.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti mentioned a while back that intends to discuss a contract extension for QB Joe Flacco following the season which would leave the franchise tag for Rice. If Baltimore does plan to keep both players, this strategy would make some sense as the tag for a quarterback is significantly higher than for a running back; although that number will increase with the new contracts from Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson.

One problem is that Flacco has played rather poorly this season while Rice has been as valuable as ever. The going price for a top-tier running back is somewhere close to a four year deal worth $53.5 million and guarantees close to $30 million which leaves them with a tough decision as to when they should lock him up. By the end of next season, Rice could be the best back in the league which may increase his asking price beyond that of Peterson and Johnson.

Rice has made it known that he would like to remain in Baltimore.

I don’t see why I wouldn’t want to stay in Baltimore,” said Rice. “I’ve done right by them. I’m hoping one day that we’re all right for each other and make it a long-term deal.”

From the looks of things I would expect the Ravens to use their franchise tag on him following the season but work on renegotiating new contract shortly after so they can limit the financial burden from signing both players.

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