Ravens running back Ray Rice is playing out the final year of his rookie contract, and he is making a compelling argument for a lucrative new deal. Rice is tied for fourth in the NFL with nine rushing touchdowns. He is fourth in total yards per game and seventh in rushing yards after his 204-yard outburst in Sunday evening's 24-10 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Rice will have no shortage of suitors if he hits the open market -- the franchise tag could be in play, though -- but the fourth-year back told the NFL Network on Wednesday that he “definitely” thinks he will remain in Baltimore after the 2011 season.
“Our organization is a first-class organization,” Rice said. “They’ve always did a good job of keeping their star players around and I think I’ll be one of the guys that in the offseason -- or whenever it is. I figure if you take care of the game, the game will take care of you, and I’ll be a Baltimore Raven next year.”
Retaining Rice will be one of the team’s top offseason priorities, along with re-signing offensive guard Ben Grubbs and potentially negotiating an extension with quarterback Joe Flacco, who is in the fourth year of a five-year deal that ends after the 2012 season.