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Ray Rice, Matt Forte sign new long term contracts

(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The deal was struck before Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline for NFL teams to sign franchise-tagged players to long term deals.

“Ray has been an integral part of us earning the playoffs in each of his four seasons, and that includes helping us get to two AFC Championship games,” Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said in a written statement released by the team. “His production on the field speaks for itself, and his leadership in the locker room is outstanding.”

Rice’s contract is worth about $35 million and contains escalator clauses that could push its value to approximately $40 million, according to a person familiar with the deal who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details had not been announced.

The Ravens used their franchise tag on Rice earlier this offseason after a 2011 season in which he ran for 1,364 yards, second-best in the league, and 12 touchdowns. He has rushed for 4,377 yards in his four NFL seasons and is a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

The announcement of Rice’s deal came after another star franchise-tagged running back, Matt Forte, signed a four-year deal Monday with the Chicago Bears. The contract is reportedly worth about $32 million.

“I’m proud to be a Chicago Bear and excited to be here for another four years,” Forte said in a written statement.

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