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Around The AFC North: Ravens And Running Back Ray Rice At A Contract Impasse

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This offseason has been interesting, to say the least, for every team in the league. While the Bengals have been adding quality players for reasonable prices, along with a superb draft, one of their divisional foes has been facing an uphill battle all offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens have had a rough go of it so far. First, they lost Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs to the New Orleans Saints through free agency. Then Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles' tendon and is likely out for the season, even though he has declared he will play during the 2012 season. Baltimore has already lost two of its biggest forces on offense and defense. And there could an ongoing saga with running back Ray Rice and his contract.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Ravens and running back Ray Rice have not made any progress towards a new contract.

Despite the fact that both sides continue talking, the Ravens and Ray Rice have not made any progress toward a new deal, per source.
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Earlier in the offseason, the Ravens used their franchise tag on Rice. They have until July 16 to come to an agreement on a new deal. If no deal is reached before the deadline then Rice has the option of signing his $7.7 million franchise tender or holding out from training camp until his contract has been resolved.

Rice has been one of Baltimore's most durable weapons since arriving on the scene in 2008 out of Rutgers as he has rushed for more than 4,300 yards and compiled 250 receptions. If the Ravens want to lock up Rice for the long-term, a good starting point good be a deal that's similar to Philadelphia Eagles' running back LeSean McCoy, who recently signed a five-year, $45 million contract with $21 million guaranteed. Despite the age difference, both of them have had similar performances the past two seasons.

Last season for the Ravens, Rice ran for 1,364 yards and 12 touchdowns in 16 games. It was his third consecutive season with more than 1,000 rushing yards. He also made 76 catches and scored an additional three touchdowns. Only time will tell how the contract negotiations pan out between Rice and the Ravens.