Speaking at a Wednesday press conference alongside G.M. Ozzie Newsome, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti adamantly confirmed that the team plans to keep quarterback Joe Flacco and free agent running back Ray Rice for the long term.
“Ray and Joe Flacco will be a part of this football team next year, period,” Bisciotti said.
Added Newsome, “We would like to have a deal done with Ray before before we have to put the (franchise) tag on him.”
The Ravens will be eligible to tag Rice beginning on February 20, but it sounds like they won’t do it immediately. The priority is to get Rice locked up long term.
Flacco’s future has been more of a question mark. The Ravens scaled back their offense in 2012, going more run-heavy down the stretch. Flacco has not yet led Baltimore to a Super Bowl, and he is entering a contract year.
“He’s trending up,” Bisciotti said of Flacco. “This is the sweet spot for him, years five through ten. … We’re just going to sit down and start grinding out contract terms. … I think he’s going to be extremely successful. I think he’s going to have rings.”