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.