Ray Rice will be sitting pretty with the Baltimore Ravens for at least five more years after agreeing to a contract worth nearly $40 million.
Rice was set to play the 2012-2013 season under the franchise tag which would have earned him $7.7 million. Rice will now instead earn $17 million this season and $8 million for the 2013-2014 season.
The team and their all-star quarterback went down to the end with their negotiations, barely beating the lead mandated 4 p.m. deadline for new contracts.
The Baltimore Ravens have made the playoffs for the last four seasons, twice advancing tot he AFC title game with the held of Rice’s excellent play which has earned him two Pro Bowl appearance in the last four years. Last year Ray Rice led the NFL with 2,068 yards from scrimmage.
Announcing the decision Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said:
“This is another example of (owner) Steve Bisciotti’s commitment to the team and to our fans to retain our core players. Ray has been an integral part of us earning the playoffs in each of his four seasons. His production on the field speaks for itself, and his leadership in the locker room is outstanding.”
“I should say something about his community efforts; I think they are almost unmatched by any player in the NFL. You’d have a hard time finding a player who does more or is as serious about helping others as Ray is. He is one of those players you can proudly say, ‘He’s on our team.’ “
Ray Rice confirmed the contract earlier in the day with a simple tweet:
Had Rice not signed a contract he would not have been required to report at the start of training camp. The Ravens will start their full squad workouts on July 26 and with $40 million up for grabs we have a feeling Ray Rice will be there and ready to rock out the 2012-2013 season.
It’s a big day for franchise players at the running back position, earlier in the day Chicago Bears franchise tagged player Matt Forte signed a four-year, $32 million deal.