Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice might not be seen around the team's Owings Mills, Maryland Training Complex anytime soon due to his current contract status, or perhaps more appropriately, non-status. Rice is looking for a long term deal to replace the Franchise Tag the team has placed on him for the 2012 season.
Don't feel too bad for Ray, as that tag guarantees him a one-year deal of $7.7 million, but just not the security of a long-term deal with a guaranteed salary in the double-digit of million dollars. In the meantime, Rice does not have to sign his Franchise Tag contract until the team officially starts Training Camp in late-July. He could hold out even longer if he chooses, but that would be dangerous to the team's success and cause a rift of feelings that might not heal in time to completely focus on the common goal of getting to the Super Bowl.
However, do not expect Rice to ultimately report to camp fat, lazy, slow and out of shape. Rice will be ready and up to speed, according to a story on Pro Football Talk, which references a story by Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times.
Here's a quote from Rice in a portion of the story:
"I miss it," Rice said. "That’s one thing you miss is the camaraderie with the guys. As far as playing football, I know I’m always going to be up to speed. The best thing about my situation is that we have the same offensive coordinator. I miss the camaraderie. It’s sort of like the lockout last year. I know the guys are working hard."