The Baltimore Ravens rewarded Ray Rice with a five-year contract after a season in which the explosive running back set career-highs for rushing yards and touchdowns, the National Football League (NFL) team said on Monday.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Ravens but multiple reports said Rice, a two-time Pro Bowl running back who powered Baltimore to the AFC Championship game earlier this year, agreed to a contract worth $40 million.
“Ray has been an integral part of us earning the playoffs in each of his four seasons, and that includes helping us get to two AFC Championship games,” Ravens General Manger Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. “His production on the field speaks for itself, and his leadership in the locker room is outstanding.”
Rice, who was assigned a franchise tag in the offseason, had until 4 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) on Monday to reach a long-term deal with the Ravens or he would have had to play 2012 NFL season under a one-year deal worth $7.75 million.
The 25-year-old running back, who was taken by the Ravens in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft, had a league-best 2,068 yards from scrimmage last season.
He also set a Ravens franchise record with 15 touchdowns in 2011 while also setting career highs for rushing yards (1,364) and rushing touchdowns (12).
The deal gives Rice a chance to become the team’s all-time rushing leader as he is currently second, 3,424 yards behind Jamal Lewis.
The Ravens said Rice will likely address the media when he reports to training camp on July 25.
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