History Of Ravens Franchise Tag


The deadline to sign running back Ray Rice to a long-term deal before he has to play out the year under the franchise tag is Monday.

But even if Rice doesn't ink a new deal by the 4 p.m. deadline, history suggests the Ravens will eventually come to an agreement with their Pro Bowler.

Before Rice, the Ravens used the franchise tag six times in their 16-year history. Only once did it not eventually lead to a long-term deal. While Terrell Suggs and Chris McAlister received it twice, no Ravens player has actually played a full two seasons under the franchise tag.

Here's the history of the franchise tag in Baltimore:
1998 – G Wally Williams
After spending two years in Baltimore and starting a combined 26 games over that span, the Ravens put the tag on Williams before the 1998 season. He started 13 games that year (seven at left guard and six at center). Afterwards, he signed a reported five-year deal worth $18.5 million with New Orleans, where he was assured he wouldn't have to bounce around on the offensive line anymore. Thus, Williams is the only former Raven to be franchised and then not get a new deal with Baltimore.

2003 & 2004 – CB Chris McAlisterMcAlister logged a career-high 17 pass deflections in 2002 and the Ravens slapped the tag on him the following season. The team was then working on a five-year deal, but didn't reach an agreement with him. McAlister went on to have a Pro Bowl season in 2003. He got the tag again before the 2004 season, but rules were different then and players could re-sign midway through the year. McAlister inked a reported seven-year, $55 million contract in mid-October and went on to have another Pro Bowl year.

2008 & 2009 – OLB Terrell SuggsEven after posting a then career-low five sacks in 2007, the Ravens franchised Suggs as a linebacker. He returned with eight sacks and two interceptions in helping Baltimore to the AFC championship and got the tag again. However, Suggs signed a six-year contract, reportedly worth $63 million contract that July, making him the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history and keeping him off the free-agent market.
2011 – DT Haloti Ngata
After going to his second straight Pro Bowl, Ngata got tagged in mid-February. It looked like he*might play the year out under the tag (as his predecessors McAlister and Suggs had done), but the two sides reached a deal minutes before the Sept. 21 deadline, which came two weeks into the season. Ngata signed a five-year deal, reportedly worth $61 million2012 – RB Ray RiceFollowing the best season of Rice's four-year career, the Ravens put the tag on him on March 2. It's worth $7.7 million. *"As we have in the past, placing the franchise designation on a player allows us to keep negotiating on a long-term contract," Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said when the tag was applied. "Our goal is to keep Ray Rice a Raven."

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