Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice is bound for the franchise tag.
Rice's agent, Todd France, met with team officials at the NFL scouting combine and is now awaiting the designation as the Ravens' franchise player.
The Ravens have until March 5 to use the $7.7 million tag on Rice, which will prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
"The meeting went fine," France told the Times. "We obviously know the tag is coming, but we will continue to have open dialogue and see if we can come to a long-term agreement, which is the preference for both sides."
Rice led the NFL last season with 2,068 total yards from scrimmage, rushing for a career-high 1,364 yards and a dozen touchdowns while catching 76 passes for 704 yards and three touchdowns.
"Yeah, I definitely prefer long-term over franchise tag," Rice said. "I'm not going to complain about the franchise tag, either. It puts yourself in a position where you play that year out and guys have done it, but I prefer the long-term. That's what Baltimore, the city, the fans, they would love to know that Ray Rice is going to be here, not just one year, but for many years to come."
NOTE: New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott is unhappy with his playing time and has been granted permission to seek a trade. One team Scott is interested in potentially rejoiningr: the Ravens.
Trades rarely happen in the NFL, though.
Scott has three years left on his six-year, $48 million contract that brought him to New York and reunited him with Rex Ryan, the former Ravens defensive coordinator.
Scott is due a $4.2 million base salary in 2012 that's fully guaranteed along with a $250,000 bonus.
Because of the guaranteed money, Scott, 31, is unlikely to be released.
He's due $6.9 million base salaries in 2013 and 2014.
Ravens had 'positive meeting' with Grubbs' agent
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Baltimore Ravens met with the agent for Pro Bowl offensive guard Ben Grubbs at the NFL scouting combine.
Grubbs' agent, Pat Dye, spoke with Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty.
"It was a very positive meeting with the Ravens," Dye told the Times. "We'll see where it goes from here. We'll keep talking."
The Ravens are trying to make a push to hold onto Grubbs, but it won't be inexpensive to do so. Plus, the Ravens have already invested $32.5 million, including a $10 million signing bonus, in Pro Bowl offensive guard Marshal Yanda.
Grubbs is regarded as one of the top free agents at his position.
Among the potential landing spots for Grubbs should the Ravens be unable to sign him: the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys.
"Ben is a player that we'd love to have back in Baltimore," general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "We've had some conversations with Pat Dye already. We will see how things work out between now and the beginning of free agency on March 13."
The Ravens sound determined to give it an honest try.
"I'm pretty optimistic about it right now," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I hope that's not misplaced. We're in the process of negotiating. We're committed, Steve Bisciotti's committed, to offering him a really great number."
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