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Ravens said to be ready to tag RB Rice on Friday

Even if Rice is tagged, the Ravens would still be free to negotiate a long-term deal with him until July 15. If no deal is reached by then, Rice would play for about $7.7 million in 2012 -- the franchise amount for running backs.

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The NFL deadline to use the tag is March 5.

The team met with Rice's agent, Todd France, at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

"The meeting went fine," France said. "We obviously know the tag is coming, but we will continue to have open dialogue and see if we can come to a long-term agreement, which is the preference for both sides."

Rice, who led the NFL in 2011 with 2,068 total yards and added 15 touchdowns, said he wanted a long-term deal days after Baltimore's season ended with a loss in the AFC Championship Game.

"Yeah, I definitely prefer long-term over franchise tag," Rice told the Times at the time. "I'm not going to complain about the franchise tag, either. It puts yourself in a position where you play that year out and guys have done it, but I prefer the long-term."

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