The Baltimore Ravens are widely expected to use the franchise tag on running back Ray Rice, who is an impending free agent. There's no way the Ravens allow him to hit the market so they'll tag him and, according to ESPN, that tag is coming on Friday, which was expected.
Rice will play under the $7.7 million franchise tag tender, which is basically a one-year guaranteed contract. Rice, of course, wants to be paid on a long-term deal. Rumors say he's eyeing a similar deal as the one Adrian Peterson got, which paid him a reported $36 million in guaranteed money.
Another team could step in and try to pry Rice away from the Ravens but signing a franchise tag player requires two first round picks and no one's going to do that.
After the tag is applied, the two sides will have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal. It's something both sides want so I expect it to happen, eventually. It's a good match. Rice is young and deserves to be paid. And the Ravens run a lot of their offense through Rice.
For more on the Ravens and Ray Rice's situation, check out SB Nation's Ravens blog, Baltimore Beatdown.