- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Rice, who has yet to sign his franchise tag, isn't obligated to show up for any team activity. Many players choose not to attend to protest the tag, and others skip them to avoid getting injured while playing under a one-year contract.
“Me and my agent have been going over things and what we’re going to do is figure out what’s best for us going forward,” Rice told the team's official website. “We haven’t made a decision. As far as we know, we look forward to being [at offseason workouts]. Maybe it will be under some terms, whether I sign the tag or not. But I want to be there. I like to be around my guys.”
Rice made it clear he's due for a new contract. “Everybody knows I outplayed my contract," he said. "It’s not a hidden agenda. I think the Ravens have a history of taking care of their guys.”
ESPN.com's Andrew Brandt wrote an interesting piece on how negotiations with running backs can be tricky because there's no position with a shorter average career.
Of course, Rice figured into the discussion along with the Bears' Matt Forte. What stood out is how Rice could hold the key in whether he gets a long-term deal or gets the tag again next season. Here's what Brandt had to say:
"My sense is the Ravens and Bears would be willing to commit to the level of contract [Marshawn] Lynch and [Arian] Foster commanded. But if Rice and Forte are intent on reaching the level of the [Chris] Johnson and [Adrian] Peterson deals, the tag might persist."
The ballpark for Lynch and Foster is around $20 million guaranteed. The neighborhood for Johnson and Peterson is much pricier at $30 million.
Rice denied a previous report that he's seeking a deal similar to the one signed by Peterson but he did allude to contracts recently signed by other running backs.
“I didn’t set the number for what the running backs got paid,” Rice said. “There’s other guys that got paid before me with lesser stats, lesser numbers, or maybe the same productivity. I didn’t set that number.”