Now that quarterback Drew Brees has finally landed an eye-popping longterm deal with the New Orleans Saints, could running back Ray Rice and the Ravens become the next parties to agree to contract terms?
They have until July 16 (Monday) at 4 p.m. to make a deal or Rice will play the 2012 season as the Ravens franchise-tag designee, meaning he will earn 7.7 million on a one-year tender,
Thats a lot of money, but Rice, who led the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2011, obviously understands now more than ever that a whole lot more could be squeezed from his situation; Brees five-year, 100 million deal includes an astounding 37 million signing bonus, according to Pro Football Talk.
Rice isnt going to get anywhere close to that, but with other running backs such as Houstons Arian Foster (five years, 43.5 million) and Philadelphias LeSean McCoy (five years, 45.6) having signed big deals this offseason, he is angling for a big payday of his own as the clock ticks toward Mondays deadline.
Unfortunately for both sides, the fact that Brees signed Friday really has no impact on Rices situation. Its a different player, a different team, a different position, a different wage scale, a different agent pretty much a different everything.
The only similarity between the situations is, of course, the Monday deadline, which is bearing down on all of the players around the league who received the franchise-tag designation but havent signed a list that includes Chicago running back Matt Forte, Oakland safety Tyvon Branch, New England receiver Wes Welker, Kansas City receiver Dwayne Bowe and a handful of others as well as Rice.
While it's encouraging for the Ravens that Brees was also on that list but now isn't, there has been nothing out of either camp indicating that the Ravens and Rice are getting close as the deadline nears. The Carroll County Times reported earlier this week that no deal is imminent and CBSSports.coms NFL insider, Jason La Canfora, spun the situation negatively.
Sources said there is still a stalemate between Baltimore and its star runner, Ray Rice, wrote La Canfora. It would take a major reversal over the weekend to get this kick-started.
Theres still time, and a big deal such as the one Brees signed can have a domino effect on other partiess, but at this point, theres no reason to believe one good deal will lead to another.