Ray Rice is coming off a year in which he racked up over 2,000 yards from scrimmage to go along with 15 touchdowns. At only 25, he’s clearly one of the league’s best offensive players. And yet because he’s a running back, Rice is having a hell of a time trying to wrestle a long-term contract from the Baltimore Ravens’ front office. Rice sat out mini-camp last week and could be digging in for a holdout as the deadline to sign franchise tenders looms in July. Ray Rice joined Mayhem in the AM on 790 The Zone in Atlanta to discuss his contract squabble with the Ravens, how he felt about being picked late in the second round in and Joe Flacco’s play late in.
On separating contract negotiations from football preparation:
“I have the best agent in football, so I let him take care of all the other stuff and my job is to always be ready. And the good thing about my situation is that I’m not going into a new offensive system. I’m going into a system that I’ve been in going into my fifth year, so as far as the football stuff, it’s gonna be just catching up to speed and polishing the fundamentals.”
On if he had a chip on his shoulder when he slid to pick No. 55 in the draft:
“Yeah, I mean, when you think about that year, of all the running backs that came out, I think stat-wise, I was the only guy to rush for 2,000 yards that year. No matter what conference I played in — I played in the Big East. Not taking away from all the guys that went before me but I was the seventh running back taken that year, and quite frankly, look where I’m at right now in my career. It has nothing to do with the other guys, so I just know, as far as talent wise and heart-wise, I was right up there with the best of the best.”
On the biggest difference he saw in Joe Flacco in the playoffs:
“It was his show. It was his show on offense and as much credit that I was getting and as much respect I was getting from defenses, all Joe really had to do is prove that we can drive the ball down the field and score, and he did that. Quite frankly, he outplayed Tom Brady the last game. He outplayed Tom Brady, and Tom Brady — he’s the trademark for a quarterback. So Joe Flacco feeling the way he feels is only right, because he did it on a high level. He did it on the peak of his performance.