I am now much more optimistic about the Ravens getting a deal done with the Ravens sooner rather than later. The reason: Arian Foster’s deal in Houston.

Foster signed a 5 year, $43 million dollar deal with about $21 million guaranteed. His numbers over the last 2 years are very comparable to Rice, even slightly better. So, the Ravens and Rice have a framework around which to negotiate that isn’t in the Adrian Petersen stratosphere of 7 years, $100 million with $36 million guaranteed. The Ravens would be fools to go there. However, this deal is reasonable. It gets Rice more than the $7.7 million franchise tag in annual salary, and would give him much more up front. However, it won’t put the Ravens in cap jail.

If the Ravens can get this deal done before free agency starts March 13, that will really help them figure out what they have with their cap to keep and go after other players.