We’ve heard several times this offseason that Ravens running back Ray Rice wants to be paid like one of the NFL’s elite running backs, and that the player and the team are far apart in contract talks.
But Sal Paolantonio of ESPN might have had the report that put the distance between the Ravens and Rice into the starkest terms yet: Paolantonio said that when talking to a senior Ravens official about reports that Rice wants Adrian Peterson money or at least Chris Johnson money, that senior team official said, “That is simply not going to happen.”
Peterson signed a seven-year, $100 million deal with $36 million guaranteed, while Johnson signed a six-year, $56 million contract with $30 million guaranteed. Rice can’t expect to get that.
This sounds bad -- and it may very well be bad -- but Rice has to recognize that the Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson contracts have not worked out for the Vikings and Titans, respectively. Hopefully he will lower his asking price to a point that's palatable to the Ravens, and soon. A protracted, CJ1K-style hold out would make him a riskier pick on draft day. Johnson never looked like himself in 2011 and Rice would be running the same risk.