The deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to a long-term deal has officially passed (4 PM ET). Three players agreed to new deals just prior to the deadline:
Ray Rice, Ravens: five years, $40 million
Matt Forte, Bears: four years, $31.5 million
Josh Scobee, Jaguars: four years, $13.8 million
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees led the way by agreeing to and signing a five-year, $100 million ($60 million in guaranteed money) last Friday, giving hope to the last couple of players that were seeking deals to avoid being paid under the franchise tag.
With the possibility of a training camp hold out in Rice and Forte's future, Baltimore and Chicago had some motivation to get a new deal done by today's deadline.
Rice's five-year deal, which was reportedly worth roughly $40 million, gives him $17 million for 2012, and $8 million in 2013. Had he not signed the deal, he would have been lined up to make about $7.7 million this season. Smart move for both Rice and the Ravens organization. Rice is happy with his new deal which will likely make him a Raven for life, and smart move for Baltimore in keeping their top offensive player happy.
Had Forte not signed his new four-year deal, I would like to believe that he would, in fact, have held out of training camp. This has been a hot topic for debate in Chicago over the last year or so. Will Forte get a deal he's happy with? Fortunately it has finally been settled, and we can get back to talking football.
Jaguar kicker Josh Scobee was the third and finally name to reach a long-term deal. The 30-year old placekicker signed a four-year deal that was reported to amount to roughly $3.45 million per year (I did the math, which came out to about $13.8 mil overall).
I think it's safe to say that each of the three contracts have a good chance at allowing Rice, Forte and Scobee to stick with their respective teams for the rest of their careers. That's what I'm hoping, at least. Anything can change in the coming years, however.
Now, can we finally get back to football? Training camp is just around the corner, you know!
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