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Ray Rice will not get the contract he wants

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice runs in for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half of play in their NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati Reuters

We’ve heard several times this offseason that Ravens running back Ray Rice wants to be paid like one of the NFL’s elite running backs, and that the player and the team are far apart in contract talks.

But Sal Paolantonio of ESPN might have had the report that put the distance between the Ravens and Rice into the starkest terms yet: Paolantonio said that when talking to a senior Ravens official about reports that Rice wants Adrian Peterson money or at least Chris Johnson money, that senior team official said, “That is simply not going to happen.”

Peterson signed a seven-year, $100 million deal with $36 million guaranteed, while Johnson signed a six-year, $56 million contract with $30 million guaranteed. Rice can’t expect to get that.

There’s probably no NFL running back who can expect to get that, especially considering that both the Titans and the Vikings have to be having second thoughts about those contracts now. Johnson had by far his worst season after signing that lucrative contract last year, and Peterson had his season end with a torn ACL. Most NFL teams believe that running backs break down too quickly, get injured too often and are replaced too easily to invest huge sums of money in them.

Rice may come to terms with the Ravens on a new deal, but only if he’s willing to take a lot less than Peterson and Johnson got. If no deal is reached by July 16, Rice will end up playing for the one-year franchise tender of $7.7 million.

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38 Responses to “Ray Rice will not get the contract he wants”
  1. Steeley McBeam says: May 23, 2012 4:53 PM

    This is becoming a tough spot for a lot of players and teams and its neither sides fault. $9-10 mill is a lot to tie up in one player and a position as replaceable and injury prone as RB, its a big risk to take.

    On the other hand, Rice is the Ravens best offensive player and if hes not going to get his payday this year or next, he cant be very confident that it will ever happen. As far as talent goes Rice deserves that money 100%, but is it a smart investment?

    With the way the league is transforming I wouldnt be surprised to see teams start drafting a RB in the 3-5th round every other year and just let them walk when their rookie contract runs up.

  2. txxxchief says: May 23, 2012 4:56 PM

    Poor, poor, pitiful Ray. Only $7,700,000.00 to play football for one season. I hope I never receive the kind of mistreatment he is getting.

  3. doe22us says: May 23, 2012 5:01 PM

    He might as well target something in between what Foster got and Le Sean, much more realistic. 19-21 mill guaranteed should be a realistic expectation.

  4. raiderstotheship says: May 23, 2012 5:01 PM

    I love ray rice but he has a better team around him then cj2k and a.p. and hasn’t put up their numbers, he’s a great rb but still isn’t better then those 2, DMC when healthy, and Arian foster

  5. jgedgar70 says: May 23, 2012 5:02 PM

    Not only all that, but now that QBs like Cam Newton and RGIII are coming into prominence to join all the other super QBs (Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Manning, Manning, Stafford, Ben, etc.), there just aren’t many teams for whom RB is their best option for moving the ball down the field.

    Of course, in Rice’s favor, the Ravens are one such team and the team brass has to realize they are barely an 8-win team without Rice, and they’re going to have to give him something. They may have to give him DeAngelo Williams money.

  6. jagsfanugh says: May 23, 2012 5:04 PM

    If Rice is the best player on the Ravens then your team will never ever get to the SuperBowl and win. If you think so then name the last team to do that. Hasn’t happened yet in the new QB driven era.

  7. bss753 says: May 23, 2012 5:06 PM

    I don’t blame him for holding out, to get as much as he can. How ever if he expects Peterson money he stretching things to far.

  8. jrock3x8 says: May 23, 2012 5:07 PM

    Running backs will be paid like offensive lineman in tomorrow’s NFL. It’s simply not a position that the current rule set values much.

    Matt Forte is in the exact same boat. The difference is that the Bears are not talking and will not talk to ANYONE.

  9. jgedgar70 says: May 23, 2012 5:10 PM

    txxxchief – but can you duplicate Ray Rice’s skill set in his profession?

    I chuckle at the self-righteousness of people who complain about pro athletes’ salaries. He’s asking to be compensated similarly to what other people who do the same job as he does as well as he does. Now, the market is undergoing a shift away from emphasis on his particular position, so he won’t likely get as much as those who signed their contract before the market shifted. But that’s all this is – supply and demand in the open marketplace. Would I like to get $7.7 mil for my work this year? Of course. But my occupation has tens of thousands of people who perform the same work at the same level of excellence. You can count on your hands the number of people who can perform Ray Rice’s job at the same level or higher. Don’t fall into the wealth-envy trap.

  10. greglloydrules says: May 23, 2012 5:17 PM

    As a Steelers fan I hate Ray Rice. but that being said, he’s a very good player and person. Without him the Ravens are finished…..PAY THE MAN!!!!!!!!

    Can’t say the same for Flacco though.

  11. laeaglefan says: May 23, 2012 5:17 PM

    I imagine that it will be hard for Rice to live on a paltry $7.7 million.

  12. TSizzleBallSoHard says: May 23, 2012 5:21 PM

    The highest they should go is $25 mill guaranteed.

  13. rickrock6661982 says: May 23, 2012 5:26 PM

    Every NFL player should hold out for as much money as they can

  14. bombacim says: May 23, 2012 5:41 PM

    Actually the Bears were talking with Forte’s agent all last week. But that’s cool, you can hate on them. Haters gonna Hate.

    Rather I’d like to bring up a more important note on this. They freaking aren’t worth the money. Take GB or NE for example, when was the last time they had top RB’s in the league. See anyone complaining about their offense. Truth be told, I don’t want my favorite team. (In this case Chicago) paying any player more than they have to. They earn what their employer says they are worth. Just like everyone else in the room. And RB’s aren’t worth the money. I gaurantee you that Minnesota and Tennessee fans would rather take 3 legit players for each of those superstars who are more injury prone than any other position in the league. It’s called being smart with your money and this is exactly why owners own and fans pay whatever they tell us to pay to sit in the stands… They are smarter. Truth hurts, but it is still the truth.

  15. geo1113 says: May 23, 2012 6:04 PM

    It seems to me that Ray Rice needs to look at LeSean McCoy’s contract.

  16. flipper14 says: May 23, 2012 6:05 PM

    One thing that doesn’t help Rice’s case is that Cam Cameron has always had a stud running back in his system. Before getting hurt, Ronnie Brown had by far his best season on Cameron. I know Ravens fans despise Cam Cameron but nobody can argue with the production that he gets out of his running backs.

  17. tedmurph says: May 23, 2012 6:09 PM

    You guys who keep posting things like ‘If only I could live on 7.7mil’ are idiots. Don’t equate your miserable lives with NFL players. There is only a small window for these guys to make what they can, while they can still play/walk. I have no prob with these guys trying to max out while they can. There are plenty of NFL franchises that will overpay and regret it. Players that are franchised have little leverage. Balti is too smart to overpay him. Bears told Forte what they thought when they signed Bush. As with Welker in NE, either he’ll play for the tag or reach a compromise on a deal. He’s not gonna sit. They’re too smart to give Flacco his extension either, they’ll wait and see if he can do it under the gun. Hasn’t done it yet.

  18. chiadam says: May 23, 2012 6:22 PM

    The days of breaking the bank for running backs are over. Well, they’re over for smart teams. Look at the standings and tell me where the Vikings and Titans finished last year. Then, without googling it, tell me who the starting RB was on the last five teams to win the Super Bowl. It’s a passing league now. Elite running backs simply are not needed.

  19. granadafan says: May 23, 2012 6:23 PM

    Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson signed for 6 years and 7 years, respectively. Guaranteed they will be complaining about how unfair their contracts are within 3 years as market conditions change and contracts get bigger. Their egos demand that they be the top paid back just like Jones-Drew. Signing long term is not the best idea for elite backs.

  20. raqaiw says: May 23, 2012 6:25 PM

    This whole scenario is similar to the Brees deal. Both are top performers at their position,both are large portions of their respective offenses,both carry significant risk of injury. No one player is worth 18-20% of your cap. It would be out of character for the Ravens to do it,but they could franchise Rice twice for ~17M over 2 seasons then let him walk at the unenviable age of 28. RBs carry too much risk of injury to give them major $$,and that’s just reality.

  21. gotampabay52 says: May 23, 2012 6:25 PM

    A Rutgers player don’t know of a team that would take him…..Blount be affraid very afraid. I love Blount but coach loves ray ray

  22. cpp3 says: May 23, 2012 6:33 PM

    Ray Rice IS the Ravens offense. Without him that ball does not move (See the Jacksonville game). PAY THE MAN.

  23. dowhatifeellike says: May 23, 2012 6:34 PM

    Baltimore has too many talented players. They can’t pay everyone what they’re worth and some may have to leave. That’s just business.

    Rice is an excellent player but RBs are easy to replace. The team’s priorities have to be elsewhere. Ray has said over and over again that he wants to say, but we’ll soon see how he values money compared to winning.

  24. 32bigg says: May 23, 2012 6:34 PM

    Pay the man.

    I’m a Bengals fan, and right now Ray Rice might be the best offensive player in the AFC central.

    If playing the Ravens, he’s who I worry about, not Flacco.

  25. steelerer says: May 23, 2012 6:49 PM

    txxxchief – but can you duplicate Ray Rice’s skill set in his profession?

    I chuckle at the self-righteousness of people who complain about pro athletes’ salaries. He’s asking to be compensated similarly to what other people who do the same job as he does as well as he does. Now, the market is undergoing a shift away from emphasis on his particular position, so he won’t likely get as much as those who signed their contract before the market shifted. But that’s all this is – supply and demand in the open marketplace. Would I like to get $7.7 mil for my work this year? Of course. But my occupation has tens of thousands of people who perform the same work at the same level of excellence. You can count on your hands the number of people who can perform Ray Rice’s job at the same level or higher. Don’t fall into the wealth-envy trap.

    ——————————————————-

    I agree with everything you said, except the market shifted awhile ago. Its been a pass heavy league for 2-3 years now.

  26. ppdoc13 says: May 23, 2012 7:05 PM

    I love Ray Rice the player, but he is not worth the money spent on AP or CJ because THEY were not worth the money paid to them. The market is set. McCoy and Foster have almost identical statistics as Ray Rice. Perhaps he can make the argument that he is worth a little more than they are as he is the best offensive player on the team when those two are not, but that little bit is a couple of million. Not 2o or 30 million.

  27. txxxchief says: May 23, 2012 7:10 PM

    Hey jgedgar70:

    Thanks for your condescension. My comments were meant to highlight the distorted expectations of athletes regarding their salaries. I have trouble with the concept that being drafted into the NFL should equate with winning the lottery. There is no profession on the planet (and I wouldn’t consider athletes “professionals” in the true sense of the word) where one should be guaranteed a lifetime’s earnings in one or two years.

    And by the way your highness, I own multiple businesses and hold two doctoral degrees. I earn seven figures a year and harbor no “jealousy” regarding the wealth of professional athletes. I earn above the 99th percentile in my profession. I have been able to hold onto a significant amount of my earnings, despite the government’s efforts to confiscate it. You should not assume that everyone who disagrees with the extortive salary demands of a professional athlete does so out of envy.

    Have a nice evening.

  28. TheWizard says: May 23, 2012 7:27 PM

    You guys who keep posting things like ‘If only I could live on 7.7mil’ are idiots

    No, they’re not.

    That’s more money than an average current middle aged person will earn in his/her entire working career.

    And Rice can have it for one year, and it’s guaranteed as soon as he signs it. On top of what he’s already earned in his career.

    He could retire when it expires, live well for life, and have good health.

    He’s an idiot, not the blue collar guys posting here.

  29. dal24la says: May 23, 2012 7:51 PM

    Normally I don’t agree with paying RBs a lot of money but what I think some of you guys are forgetting is that Ray Rice (and Forte for that matter) aren’t just premier rushers, they are also 3rd in yardage as receivers for their team. Rice is the 3rd receiver on his team AND accounts for 36.8% of his teams offense, which way more than league average for a RB, PLUS Rice accounts for over half their TDs…
    This dude deserves his money.

    All that being said I wouldn’t give him a deal longer then 4 years (he is 25, don’t want him for big money past 30).

  30. ppdoc13 says: May 23, 2012 8:04 PM

    @txxchief – totally agreed. I too have some trouble with the concept that being drafted in the NFL is equal to winning the lottery. But honestly, is it any different then the miscreants in Hollyweird?

    I think that the players in the NFL no longer consider themselves football players, but entertainers. And based upon that, they get paid as if they were top end entertainers.. What do you think Denzel Washington gets to do a film? I would be willing to bet that it is no less than 20 million and that is before he gets his percent of the net.

    I too am in a very well paid profession and do not envy anyone who earns their money. Lord knows the government thinks that my money is theirs and they are kind enough to let me keep just over half of it. The 16th amendment directly controverts the idea that the government has no right to confiscate your property.

    The NFL has changed drastically since I was a young man. Back then the players all worked in the community during the offseason to make ends meet. They were delivery men, construction men etc. This was Baltimore of the 50’s and 60’s. Today is different. Now they work out full time. There is no off-season. And they are no longer a part of the community. They live in mega mansions and gated communities so that they are not bothered by the great unwashed who pay their exorbitant salaries.

    I don’t envy those men their wealth at all. It comes at a great physical price. But sometimes I wonder where our priorities are when doctors who spend years learning their craft have to sell their practices to hospitals because they can no longer stay in the black at the same time that football players are grumbling about making 7 million dollars a year.

  31. tedmurph says: May 23, 2012 9:09 PM

    TheWizard says:May 23, 2012 7:27 PM

    You guys who keep posting things like ‘If only I could live on 7.7mil’ are idiots

    No, they’re not.

    That’s more money than an average current middle aged person will earn in his/her entire working career.

    And Rice can have it for one year, and it’s guaranteed as soon as he signs it. On top of what he’s already earned in his career.

    He could retire when it expires, live well for life, and have good health.

    He’s an idiot, not the blue collar guys posting here
    ———————————————————
    It has nothing to do with what an average current middle aged person can earn. Or what you think someone from a different level should earn or be comfortable with. Everyone has a right to earn the what market will pay for their skills, while they’re in demand, whether they’re Bill Gates, LDiCaprio, or some of the BS artists on this thread. Rice has the right to get more security than 1yr guaranteed if he can get it, whether ‘Joe Blue Collar’ is jealous of it or not.

  32. tedmurph says: May 23, 2012 9:32 PM

    The 16th amendment directly controverts the idea that the government has no right to confiscate your property.
    ———————————————————Despite your double negative, this anti-tax argument has been laughed out of court every time it has been brought up. You and the chief try to come off like real ‘high end’, intelligent guys. It’s really about sour grapes. Doesn’t bother people that really have degrees and make money.

  33. rushbacker says: May 23, 2012 10:03 PM

    I know some people probably won’t like this, but I have to wonder if it isn’t time for the league itself to take a look at the pay scale/structure for running backs. You look back at the greats like Brown, Payton, Sanders, Campbell, Dickerson etc, and the impact they’ve had on the game over the years– the sport would be much, much poorer without them. I know it’s changed to a pass-heavy league, but I hope the league always has some hard-nosed workhorses like Maurice Jones-Drew and Frank Gore– the game would be barely recognizable without them.

    But with all the concussion questions swirling around, you have to wonder at what point guys with any real talent are going to start refusing to play the position. “If you can’t use me at corner, make me a slot receiver.” Will parents be arguing with high school coaches about it at some point? And will agents start to advise college RBs to consider switching positions? They’re already the guys that are absorbing more big hits than anyone, and it’s already one of the toughest positions at which to get paid. If it gets to the point where even the league’s top backs struggle to get what they consider quality second contracts (particularly under the new rookie wage scale, which means modest deals for most picks), it’s legitimate to wonder how much longer top athletes with pro aspirations will have any interest in the position.

    You can’t blame teams for being smart about it. I do wonder whether maybe the league should look at shortening all rookie deals by a year for RBs, to prevent teams from drafting a guy every four to five years, and just running him into the ground on a cheap deal. For the punishment these guys take, it just seems like there should be some mechanism to allow more of them to reach the greatly more lucrative second contracts that good players at pretty much every other position can expect to attain. Just my opinion.

  34. omegadawg4 says: May 24, 2012 7:46 AM

    Why wouldn’t the Ravens want to pay Ray Rice? He has laid it on the line since he was drafted into the league. And they wonder why players need guaranteed money

  35. omegadawg4 says: May 24, 2012 7:52 AM

    @txxxchef – I read some of your comments and all I can say is, you chose your profession, Rice chose his, if that is a problem for you get a different job. I know you have tried to get paid extremely well in your profession.

  36. sudz28 says: May 25, 2012 6:49 AM

    As a Steeler fan I can only hope the Ratbirds will make Rice feel snubbed and unwanted, and then we can lure him over to our team. B’more is crazy if they don’t make this happy, he IS their offense and an all-around class act.

  37. qj1984 says: May 30, 2012 9:35 AM

    raiderstotheship says: May 23, 2012 5:01 PM

    I love ray rice but he has a better team around him then cj2k and a.p. and hasn’t put up their numbers, he’s a great rb but still isn’t better then those 2, DMC when healthy, and Arian foster
    ______________________________________

    Well, now isn’t it ironic to hear someone say that. By team I am assuming you mean offensive personnel. Let most people tell it Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense are nothing without Ray Rice. Infact, every ounce of success that Flacco has ever had is due to Ray Rice.

  38. opneon says: May 30, 2012 10:11 AM

    Ray has been GREAT and deserves as good a deal as Philly gave LeSean. But teams like the Ravens and Steelers know what they are doing so will pay a logical salary. Don’t blame or rip Ray or the Ravens, but rather look at mismanaged messes like the Vikes who make it difficult to deal reasonably. They are the jerks here.
    And while I’m at it, the Ravens aren’t the packers or the saints, and yet they were one play away from the Super Bowl…so quit making it like they’ll never have a chance to get there. The NFL is the most balanced league ever and any team has a chance to get there with good management and a little luck.

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