Just Pay the Man Already

June 27, 2012 | Scott Zolotorow

We’ve seen this before with several players in the past, and a contract issue causes a lot of stress on both sides of the contract. Ray Rice is the guy in the spotlight this year. What has Rice done to not have a contract wrapped up by now? He has been one of the best running backs in the NFL and is as humble and as good of a guy as they come. Rice is the guy I want to see be a Raven for his entire career like Ogden, Boulware, big Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed. Because that’s what we do here in Baltimore, we have legacies who stay in our Charm City for the entirety of their careers. Just ask Cal, Brooks, and Palmer; our city loves these guys. But “little Ray” is one of several players in this NFL offseason that hasn’t received that contract extension and he is one of the most deserving of a large sum of money. Rice has put up unheard of rushing and receiving numbers over the past three years since he took over as the prime back for the Ravens. Over 6,600 yards of in 4 seasons with 15 touchdowns last year. This guy deserves to be one of the top paid running backs in the NFL and he hasn’t been all over the media promoting it.

Look at the way some media outlets are blowing up the Drew Brees deal. There hasn’t been a day without a Drew Brees quote or a statement from the team regarding the situation. And trust me with all this horrible press the “Bounty” issue has brought to their team, there is no reason for them to have not given one of the best quarterbacks in the league the money that he has rightfully earned and much deserves. Another prime example is Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears. In his first four seasons in the league, he has averaged over 1,000 yards rushing and almost 500 yards receiving each season and has scored a combined 29 touchdowns. Hes ranked in the top 10 in most peoples books as far as best running backs in the league and some people go as far as putting him in the top 5. So much like our own Ray Rice, he deserves a fair share of money. But Forte who was hurt last year is worried about his future, which he has the right to do. Ray Rice is listed at 5’8 and 212 pounds and he plays very low to the ground with his insane upper-body strength. But fluke injuries occur and he wants to be taken care of as well.

It seems as if the Ravens and the Bears are in a battle of tug-of-war, waiting to see who makes the first move on a contract. I say that is a very unwise idea. Whoever gets paid first, the other will want it matched, so lets be the first to get it done. Look at what happened with Chris Johnson a year ago after he demanded to be the highest paid running back in football, he had a horrible start to the season and managed to salvage a decent effort down the stretch. But he still had 1,000 combined yards less than the previous season. Matt Forte has already threatened to holdout, but then again his contract issue has been ongoing for the past season, much like Desean Jackson during the season before him, and we all know how Desean Jackson did last year, not good for his standards causing him to be quite frustrated. He finally just signed a huge 5-year contract with Philadelphia. Lucky for the Saints this year, Brees and company aren’t on HBO’s Hard Knocks like the Jets were during the Darelle Revis contract issues, and he isn’t the same player that he was before all the problems.

There comes a certain point in this ordeal where somebody needs to say Ray Rice is our best offensive weapon and before ESPN blows this one out of proportion, lets give him what he deserves.