A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the Baltimore Ravens plan on using their franchise tag on running back Ray Rice.
In 18 games last season including the playoffs, Rice carried the ball 333 times for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 2,068 yards from scrimmage led the NFL during the regular season. Rice had the most receptions (76) and third most receiving yards (704) on the team.
This is a no brainer for the Ravens who have been considered more of a defensive team for over a decade. Without Rice, Joe Flacco would be stranded on an island every time he dropped back and the offense would be stagnant.
Baltimore advanced to the AFC Championship Game last season but lost to the New England Patriots when placekicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal. With Rice getting franchised and a majority of the defense coming back it should not be a surprise to anyone that the Ravens will be back there next season.