Ray Rice, Ravens Expected To Start Talking Contract

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 01: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs for a touchdown during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Baltimore Ravens are preparing for next season and one of their pressing concerns is signing running back Ray Rice to an extension.

Now that the season has officially ended for the Baltimore Ravens, their players and front office can begin making the necessary preparations for the fall. One of the items on the ledger will be a contract extension for running back Ray Rice.

The Pro Bowler led the NFL with 2,068 yards from the line of scrimmage in 2011, while making just $600,000 in the final year of the contract he signed in his rookie season, according to Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times. Rice will become an unrestricted free agent unless he signs an extension or is tagged as a franchise player by the Ravens, a move which is projected to be in the neighborhood of $7.7 million.

Rice made the following comments at a community appearance on Tuesday:

It's exciting because I feel like I've done everything that I had to do to put myself in the situation that I don't control, it's in the next man's hands. I pray about it, do everything that I can. When you put yourself in a good position, in a position where you can sit back and say whatever happens, you really don't want to put a price on it.

Whatever they do, it's going to be more than I've ever had. There was a reason why I never brought my contract situation into that locker room because I wanted to play the game for the love of the game and my teammates. I think we'll get it done. There's no doubt that I'll be here next year.

Certainly, Rice's return would be good news for Ravens fans and for the team looking to make another run at the postseason. Regardless of what the extension will cost, it is likely the Ravens do not want to enter the 2012 season without one of their most potent and proven offensive weapons.

For all news and information regarding the Baltimore Ravens, please visit Baltimore Beatdown.

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