Ray Rice: Retirement’s a possibility when I turn 30

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Ravens running back Ray Rice is nearing the end of his sixth NFL season and he admitted Wednesday that he’s already started thinking about when he’ll hang up his cleats for good.

During a conference call with media covering the Patriots ahead of this Sunday’s game, Rice explained that his goal when he entered the league was to play 10 years. Barring a catastrophic injury, Rice looks like a good bet to make it to the 2017 season. Anything beyond that will be subject to how good he feels at the time, though.

“It’s always something to think about at the running back position,” Rice said, via Tom Curran of CSNNE.com. “I’ll just put it out there — my goal was to make it 10 years in the NFL. Anything after 10, if I can’t do it the way I want to, then it’s something to think about. But, I’m young. I came in the NFL at 21 years old, a young guy. So, I’m still young; I’m only going to be 27 in January. So, there’s a lot of football left to be played. With that being said, I have priorities too. You know I have a young daughter, and you’ve just got to put all that in perspective when you’re going out there week-in and week-out, especially when you get older in your career.”

It’s unusual to hear a 26-year-old talk about retirement, but Rice has averaged just 3.1 yards per carry this season while playing through a hip injury that he said has been “very hard to play through week in and week out.” He’s also likely seen the quick trip downhill that most backs take once they turn 30 and the combination makes it easier to understand why the possibility has crossed Rice’s mind.

25 responses to “Ray Rice: Retirement’s a possibility when I turn 30

  1. Football is just brutal on these guy’s bodies. I cant say I blame the guy for admitting it’s a possiblity. I hope he returns next year and has good bounce back season, but each year it gets harder and harder to push through these injuries. We’ll see how it goes for him next season…and then whenever he is ready to retire, I will thank him for years of entertainment and wish him best of luck in his post NFL career.

  2. Need to remember that Schiano ran him into the ground at Rutgers. He had a 2000 yard season in college and not a lot of his runs were in space. A lot was between the tackles grinding type stuff. He didn’t catch a lot of passes before the NFL. So he’s an older 26. I love Ray Rice. But there’s more wear on those tires than most RBs his age.

  3. “Ravens fans bashing Bell yesterday would love to have him on their team instead of Rice at this point.”

    Most Ravens fans would like to have Bell on their team.

    But then, Bell would like to be on their team, too.

  4. Well, he’s certainly not having a Hall Of Fame career. If he plays 10 years at running back he will have beaten the odds any way. Besides, there isn’t much demand for mediocre running back past 30 years old. I’m not knocking him. I wouldn’t mind having his football career.

  5. Jim Brown didn’t play a single down in his 30s. Football is a young man’s game unless you’re Brett Favre or a kicker…

  6. Ray is awesome but Ray has lost burst this year. Prob due to combination of things. He made his $ and the Ravens will do him right. He’s a great dude too. Beloved in Baltimore.

  7. the amount of hb’s who play well of 30 is a very small number. like Shaun Alexander, you may be playing at the highest level of your career, hit about that age 29-30, and its just over.

    can’t say I blame him, they take quite a beating, and with so many hits now going low, I wouldn’t be too excited about waiting for my next ACL tear

  8. Look around the league just at guys who entered this season as starting RB’s- not even counting ones from the past few years who’ve already disappeared- who have seen a significant drop off in the last few years, often due to injuries, and who are under 30:

    MJD, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, BJGE, Ahmad Bradshaw, Darren McFadden, Rashard Mendenhall

    Then look at guys like McGahee and Brandon Jacobs, who are 32 & 31 years old respectively, and they seem ancient.

    The guys like Sproles (30) Fred Jackson (32) DeAngelo Williams (30) & Frank Gore (30) who are still running well on the wrong side of 30 are exceptions. And look at Gore- people are amazed how he ‘never slows down’ and yet, he’s only 30. Pretty young still outside of football.

    If Rice is still playing at 30, at a level effective enough where it could be considered a surprise if he walks away, by comparison to the norm there’s lofty odds for him to overcome.

  9. The kid worshipped Ray and Ed last year, and they clearly rubbed off on him about winning a Super Bowl being the end all and talk of retirement.

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