Ravens' Rice awaiting franchise tag

INDIANAPOLIS -- 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 Scout.com. "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 also catching 76 passes for 704 yards and three touchdowns.

Rice, 25, broke the Ravens' single-season record with 15 total touchdowns.

In four NFL seasons, the diminutive former Rutgers star has rushed for 4,377 career yards and 24 touchdowns. He has caught 250 passes for 2,235 yards and five touchdowns.

"Yeah, I definitely prefer long-term over franchise tag," Rice said days after the Ravens' AFC championship game loss to the New England Patriots. "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."

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