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Rice reaction


Rice reaction

Ray Rices last-minute deal was one of the major storylines of Franchise Tag Deadline Day, with more than one national pundit expressing surprise that a deal got done.

Here is some of the reaction from the national media to the Rice signing:

Adam Schefter, ESPN: He (Rice) decided he could not bypass the financial security that this deal provides. He is a running back in this league, and weve seen running backs get battered. When you get 17 million in year one, and 25 million in the first two years, and youre happy in Baltimore and you want to be on that Ravens team, theres no reason not to take the long-term deal.

Doug Farrar, Yahoo Sports: Rice has earned every bit of his new agreement. It's a crucial move for the Ravens, because Rice has grown into the fulcrum of their offense. It's not what was expected out of a "too short, too small" back selected in the late second round of the 2008 draft out of Rutgers. Rice had a chip on his shoulder from Day 1, and he proved as soon as he was able that he could do anything and everything expected of an elite NFL back.

Will Brinson, CBSSports.com: Rice got paid handsomely. The Ravens' running back will make 24 million in guaranteed money, which isn't "AP money" but should be just enough to squeak by on for the rest of your life. Rice would've landed more money on the open market, but he's also got plenty of miles on his odometer for a guy who's just 25. The Ravens and Rice have to love the fact that he'll get paid through age 29, which provides Rice a shot at landing another deal on the market and doesn't overcommit the Ravens."

Matt Williamson, ESPN.com: Rice might be the running back in the NFL that is most important to his franchise. My only real concern with the signing of Rice is the fact that he has logged 1,069 regular season touches (not to mention the playoffs) over the past three seasons. Although he has not missed a game in that time and has shown he can play through pain and doesnt turn 26 years old until January. While Rice appears as potent as ever, his smaller stature does give me some pause when considering his long-term effectiveness after so many recent touches.

But the reality is that Baltimore really had no choice in this matter. And I fear the Ravens window is closing very quickly, as stalwart Ravens such as Matt Birk, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are on their last legs -- not to mention Terrell Suggs injury situation, which is going to be very difficult to overcome. With Rice not in the fold, 2012 was going to be extremely difficult for Baltimore to stack up against the elite NFL franchises. This is a move that simply needed to be made by the Ravens.

Jason LaCanfora, CBS Sports.com: "Ray Rice and the Ravens weren't that close heading into the weekend, the realities of his position, with longevity concerns, helped spur a deal. With Joe Flacco in the last year of his deal, and only one tag to go around, the Ravens needed to get something down, and Rice takes the tradeoff of 25 million in the first two years of the deal while Baltimore gets lower salaries as he creeps toward age 30 (which actually should help keep Rice on the roster as the years and grind add on)."

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Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst


Ravens agree to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst

The Ravens have their entire 2018 draft class locked up.

The team agreed to terms with first-round pick Hayden Hurst, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Hurst's rookie contract - like all first-round picks - is a four-year deal with a team option of a fifth year. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the 25th overall pick is due $11.1 million. 

The 24-year old, who was a walk on at South Carolina at 21-years old after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012, finished his three-year career with 100 receptions, 1,281 yards and three touchdowns.

Standing at 6-foot-3, Hurst will be a nice addition to the TE corps with Nick Boyle and third-round draft pick Mark Andrews. 

Fellow first-round pick Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract on June 5th.

Training camp kicks off for the Ravens July 19th. 


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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

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Ravens experimenting with getting Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson on field at same time

Since drafting Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have made it clear that Joe Flacco is their starter. That doesn't mean they're not experimenting with having them both on the field at the same time, however. 

During this week's minicamp, the team has been lining Jackson up at multiple positions. 

"Gosh, I sure like him out there helping us," coach John Harbaugh said of Jackson during Tuesday's minicamp, via ESPN.com.

"If you put two quarterbacks on the field at once, what options does it create for our offense? That's what we're trying to figure out."

While at Louisville, Jackson rushed for 4,132 yards and 50 touchdowns in three seasons. That's more rushing yards than No. 2 overall pick Saquon Barkley. That unique skill set could be the creative options the Ravens are looking for. 

While at the NFL Combine, however, Jackson refused to workout at any other position than QB. 

"I have a lot of fun seeing what they come up with and what they're going to come up with next," Jackson said. "We'll see where it goes. You have to use your good players."

The Ravens are already viewing Jackson as one of those 'good players.' 

"Once he gets out of the pocket, it's like watching a young Michael Vick," LB C.J. Mosley said after minicamp practice. "It's amazing to watch. When you're defending him, you just have to act like you're tagging off -- you don't want to be on the highlight reel."

Harbaugh has alluded to the fact that the rookie will be active on game days, just exactly how they get the most out of him is what's in play.

"There's a lot of considerations that go into that," Harbaugh said of using two QBs at the once. "Everybody has an opinion. I've read a few. You want to find a way to get the most out of all your guys."

While Flacco isn't the fasted QB in the league, he has shown glimpses of running ability in the past. Figuring out how to utilize Flacco when Jackson is under center is where things will get interesting.

Interesting - as long as it works - is what Ravens fans have been searching for over the last several seasons. 

"Joe has to be able to do other things if [Jackson is] throwing the ball," Harbaugh said. "It gets the creative juices flowing for our offensive coaches, and they've worked hard on that."