Thursday, July 26, 2012
Ray Rice wants to retire a Raven
By Jamison Hensley
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- In his first comments since signing his $40 million contract, running back Ray Rice took some time to announce a future goal.
“Hopefully, I’ll retire a Raven,” Rice said. “That’s what it all boils down to. You’re in your second contract, and you think about long-term. That’ll be nine years of my life that I’ve been in Baltimore. Needless to say, Baltimore has become home for me. My license is Baltimore. I’m no longer a New Yorker, I just visit there now.”
Rice has a good chance of playing out his five-year contract based on how the contract is structured. His base salary for the final two years of the deal (2015 and 2016) is $3 million, and it could bump up to $5 million if escalators kick in. Either way, that's far from a prohibitive number for a starting running back.
Rice, who will be 30 when his contract ends, thinks he will need to sign a third contract in order to end his career with the Ravens. The challenge for all running backs is getting their body to hold up to the wear and tear of the game.
Rice believes he can extend his career because he is a receiver as well as a runner. He's led the Ravens in catches twice in the past two seasons. That means he stays involved in the offense without having to carry the ball over 300 times in a season (which he's done once).
"I haven’t really been banged up," said Rice, who has played in 48 straight games. "I don’t really take the hits that people think I really take. It might be a pounding, it might be a load on the carries, but as far as taking crunching hits, I think I do a pretty good job of avoiding them.”
That's why Rice feels he has a chance to "hang it up as a Raven."
“As long as I’m able to take care of my body, go out there and play the game fast and make people miss for a while, I think I can write my own chapter," Rice said.