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When Ray Rice was a high school junior, he looked outside his New Rochelle, N.Y. apartment window into “The Hallow.”
His mom, Janet, who took over full share of raising him after Rice’s father and cousin died, was drawing a hot bath for him following football practice.
It’s easy toget caught up in the numbers behind Rice’s contract, the nitty-gritty details of the contract. It’s commonplace to compare it to other running back’s contracts.
But at the end of the day, what presumably matters most to Rice is that he kept his promise to his mom.
That’s why minutes after signing his new five-year deal worth a reported $40 million, Rice welled up with tears and hugged those around him. That explains why he bolted from team headquarters to celebrate with his family.
For now, his agent Todd France shed light on the mindset of his client.
“At the end of the day it’s not about winning and losing,” France told WNST soon after the deal was finalized. “The kid just set up himself and his family for generation after generation after generation.”
France is an agent, and thus is looking not only for the best deal for Rice, but also for himself. It helps his reputation to get the biggest deal, and he gets a bigger payday. That’s why France said he is “still wanting the Adrian Peterson deal” worth $100 million over seven years with $36 million guaranteed.
But from the story France tells (and from all my encounters with Rice) the two-time Pro Bowler wasn’t all about the money.
A number of other running backs complained publicly this offseason, and even during last season, about their upcoming expiring contract. Rice did not.
France told WNST that the plan was to sit out all of training camp and even “committed to missing some games” if they did not sign a contract extension.
But listen to what Rice told France during negotiations.
“He didn’t want to have to go through [contract negotiations] again,” France said. “The kid is all about football.”
During these long negotiations, Rice told France, “I never played this game for money, Todd. I don’t want it to be all about the money. I don’t want people to think I’m greedy.”
Rice wanted to play football for the Baltimore Ravens and wanted to take care of his family.
He got what he wanted. He’s doing both.
“A contract that’s this changing to a player’s life, you can’t pass that up,” France said. “At the end of the day, I don’t know that there’s a winner and a loser. I just know my client is very happy.”