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Rice is Assigned Franchise Tag by Baltimore

Rice isn't going anywhere - except away from Ravens opponents.

Ray Rice has made it clear several times in interviews that he didn’t plan on leaving Baltimore this offseason.

Now, it appears that plan will come true.

The Ravens applied the franchise tag to Rice on Friday, which will keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent and pay him about $7.7 million as part of the one-year deal. His four-year rookie contract was set to expire in March.

Franchising Rice guarantees that he’ll be back in Baltimore for at least one more season, but more importantly, it buys time for the two sides to work out a long-term deal before the start of the season.

That’s what the Ravens did last year with Haloti Ngata. They franchised Ngata to keep him from hitting the open market and then agreed on an extension in September. The Ravens brass has used this tactic effectively with other players as well such as Terrell Suggs and Chris McAlister.

The fifth-year running back is coming off the best season of his career, where he rushed for 1,364 yards and collected a league leading 2,068 yards from scrimmage. He was selected to his second Pro Bowl and accounted for 16 touchdowns – 12 rushing, three receiving and one throwing.

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