Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 2/29/12
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The franchise tag has been a dreaded tactic players love to avoid. However, in the NF,L the tag helps teams keep key free agents in an era of free agency. Ray Rice would love to test the market and see what he could get as a viable market option. That is not going happen as the Ravens aren’t that dumb.

Rice is in negotiations with Baltimore, hoping to come to a long term agreement that will leave both sides happy after the last meeting. Rice made this statement:

"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 is arguably the best running back free agent and would command a lot of interest if he were to get into the open market.

Rice led the NFL last season with 2,068 total yards, running for a career high 1,364 yards and 12 touchdowns while also hauling in 76 passes for 704 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The heart and soul of the Ravens offense, his dual threat ability would help any team in the NFL, and that’s why Baltimore will not let him walk.

"Yeah, I definitely prefer long-term over franchise tag, 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. I prefer the long-term deal.”

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