Ozzie Newsome Reacts To Joe Flacco, Ray Rice Comments

Ozzie Newsome did not express concern about recent comments made by the offensive stars.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Categories: 2012 Offseason, Garrett Downing

Ray Rice says he outplayed his rookie contract.

Joe Flacco says he believes he is the best quarterback in the NFL.

Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome doesn’t have a problem with either statement.

“Any player, any coach, any GM do not think they aren’t the best at what they do,” Newsome said Wednesday when asked about Flacco’s comments. “For Joe to say that, I think that’s a common thing.

“The aspect of it that I think we all also look at is, if you make a statement like that, then you also have to prepare yourself to be the best. I’m sure that Joe is also doing that.”

Newsome also agrees with the comments Rice made about out-performing his rookie deal.

“That was a rookie contract, so yes, I’d like to think that every player with the Ravens that we draft, hopefully outplays their first contract,” Newsome said. “So yes, he has.”

Rice also made the point that his performance during his first four seasons – two Pro Bowls, leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage last year – should put him in line for a long-term contract.

Those contract negotiations are ongoing, but Newsome also noted that paying Rice the $7.7 million franchise tag salary would be a big jump from what he made last season.

“We’re happy with the progress we’re making with negotiations,” Newsome said. “From where he was, to where we put the franchise tag on him, that’s a significant increase.”

One of the risks for the Ravens in putting the franchise tag on Rice is that he might hold out of the team’s offseason programs. Rice told BaltimoreRavens.com that he has not made a decision yet about whether to participate in the offseason activities, and Newsome acknowledged that missing time with the team could be a consequence of franchising him.

“That’s something that [Head Coach] John [Harbaugh], [Owner] Steve [Bisciotti], [President] Dick [Cass], [Director of Player Personnel] Eric [DeCosta], [chief negotiator] Pat [Moriarty] and I have talked about when we put the tag on him,” Newsome said. “What [are] the consequences and what are the unknown consequences that could happen?”

The Ravens have gone down that path before with players, like Terrell Suggs and Chris McAlister, who they franchised and then signed to long-term deals.

“We understand those things,” Newsome said. “We’ll be prepared.”

Rice downplayed the concern about him skipping the offseason activities, assuring fans that he will be in shape and ready to compete when he does report.

Newsome also isn’t worried about Rice arriving at training camp out of shape.

“I think he made a great statement that whenever Ray shows up, he’ll be ready to play,” Newsome said. “There’s no doubt in my mind.”

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