With the clock ticking toward Mondays deadline for the Ravens and Ray Rice to reach a long-term deal before the franchise tag takes effect, ESPNs John Clayton says that there has been an ominous lack of progress toward a deal.
Deadlines haved a tendency to make things happen Drew Brees, who also had the franchise tag, and the Saints reached a deal Friday but all indications are the Ravens and Rice are not nearing a deal with just about 48 hours to go.
Not much happened this week," Clayton said of negotiations between the Ravens and Rice's agent, Todd France, "and thats a little ominous to try and get something done.
If Rice and the Ravens cannot reach a deal by Monday, he will make about 7.7 million while playing under the franchise tag.
According to Clayton, Rice is seeking a deal worth more than 9 million a year.
Houstons Arian Foster and Philadelphias LeSean McCoy have helped set the market for Rice and Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte who is also up against the franchise tag deadline. Foster signed a five-year, 43.5 million extension this offseason, and McCoy signed a five-year deal worth about 46.6 million. Both deals involve more than 20 million in guaranteed money, and Rice is expected to command a deal worth at least as much.
What remains to be seen is what, if any, fallout occurs if no deal is reached.
Sports Illustrateds Chris Burke noted that, Rice appears willing to sit out camp, and possibly beyond, if the Ravens dont step up. This situation has the most potential to disrupt a playoff contender.
Clayton said the Ravens have a little bit of a history of not going to the very top in paying a running back.
Are they willing to make the jump to 9 million? If so, something will get done, Clayton said. If not, then probably not.
Rice has stayed mum on negotiations throughout. Speaking at an anti-bullying event he hosted Friday night, Rice said, Im always optimistic. God has put me in a position where not too many people can say theyve been. I never played for the dollars and all of that other stuff. My rookie contract, quite frankly, you just signed it and go play football so this is a little bit difference of an experience for me.