Updated 1:45 p.m. ET on Friday, March 2
The Ravens placed the franchise tag on RB Ray Rice on Friday, the team announced.
"As we have in the past, placing the franchise designation on a player allows us to keep negotiating on a long-term contract," Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said. "Our goal is to keep Ray Rice a Raven. We've done this with other outstanding players through our history, including Haloti Ngata a year ago."
The tag is projected to be about $7.7 million.
Rice, 25, set career-highs in rushing yards (1,364), receiving yards (704) and TDs (15) in 2011. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti indicated at season's end that the tag was a possibility for the versatile Rice.
Rice is ranked No. 5 among PFW's top 100 prospective free agents in 2012.
The way we see it
With Rice receiving the tag, as expected, the Ravens' top prospective unrestricted free agents are OLG Ben Grubbs, OLB Jarret Johnson, ILB Jameel McClain and DE Cory Redding. CB Lardarius Webb also ranks as one of the best restricted free agents available.