The Baltimore Ravens and franchised running back Ray Rice have agreed to terms on a five-year, $40 million contract, only minutes before Monday’s deadline, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The deal will pay Rice $17 million in the first year and $25 million in the first two years, the sources said.
The Ravens had placed their franchise tag on Rice in March and the sides had until 4 p.m. ET today to reach an agreement. Without a long-term deal, Rice would have had to play the 2012 season under the $7.749 million tender or sit out the season.
The team avoided that today and secured their top Offensive threat for the next five seasons.
After making a long-term commitment to both Rice and cornerback Lardarius Webb this offseason, the Ravens can now turn their attention to trying to reach a deal with Flacco, the fifth-year quarterback.Flacco is entering the final year of his rookie deal and team officials have said that they don’t want him to enter the season as a lame-duck quarterback. However, there have been no signs that progress has been made in the negotiations.