Ravens say they are determined to re-sign RB Rice

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is set to become a free agent this offseason, and owner Stephen Bisciotti said Wednesday the team is determined to keep him.

"Ray and (quarterback) Joe Flacco will be a part of this football team next year, guaranteed," Bisciotti said at a news conference Wednesday, according to the team's official site. Flacco can become a free agent after the 2012 season.

Bisciotti said the franchise tag might be a factor in the team's negotiations with Rice. General manager Ozzie Newsome added that the team would prefer they didn't reach that point, however.

"We would like to have a deal done with Ray before we have to put the tag on him," Newsome said.

He added that reaching an agreement quickly would enable the team to move forward with its offseason plans.

"[Signing Rice to a new contract] does give us flexibility to go and do some other things with some other players," Newsome said. "The agent knows that, too, so we have to balance that."

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