Ravens running back Ray Rice remains unsigned as the team’s franchise player, but coach John Harbaugh says there’s no doubt in his mind that Rice will be capable of contributing as soon as he shows up.
Harbaugh said on NFL Total Access that he’s not worried at all about Rice being prepared to play.
“It’s the business of football,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t worry about Ray Rice.”
The business of football means that Rice wants a long-term contract that pays him in the range of what the highest-paid running backs in football make, but all indications are that the Ravens are not willing to pay Rice anything like the contracts that Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson got last year. Rice probably won’t get the contract he wants and will likely end up signing the one-year franchise tender for a guaranteed base salary of $7.7 million in 2012.
Even if Rice doesn’t sign until after training camp, however, Harbaugh thinks he’ll be the same old Ray Rice in time for Week One.
“Ray will be ready to go when the season starts, he’ll be in shape and he’ll be Ray Rice,” Harbaugh said. “He’s one of the hardest-working guys, and I have complete trust in Ray.”