Rice: "I want to retire a Raven"

Nine days after barely beating the deadline to agree to long-term contract with the Ravens, Ray Rice walked up to the podium at the Under Armour Performance Center and stated the obvious.

"I can afford to take you all out to dinner now," he said.

Rice probably could've done that before receiving a five-year, $40 million contract from the Ravens. But he could go ahead and do that on a nightly basis now if he so desires.

Rice hadn't discussed his new deal since signing more than a week ago, and he did so Wednesday for more than 20 minutes after reporting to training camp earlier in the day.

The 25-year-old tailback is coming off a season when he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage, and he seemed as happy as could be to be able to call the Ravens his team for the foreseeable future.

"I want to retire a Raven. That's what it all boils down to," Rice said. "You get your second contract, you think about long term. That'd be nine years of my life that I've been in Baltimore. So needless to say, Baltimore has become home for me. My license says Baltimore. I'm no longer a New Yorker. I just visit there now."

The first thing Rice bought? A house for his mom. As for himself, he said he had already been living pretty well and bought a family home for himself in Baltimore.

Beyond the expenditures and the comfort of being able to call this area his home, receiving a second contract as a featured NFL running back meant a lot to Rice. It doesn't happen all that often anymore because of the grind of the position and the pounding the ball-carrier takes.

But after running 959 times for 4,377 yards and adding 250 catches for 2,235 yards over his first four seasons, Rice earned it. He understands why the trend is for only select running backs to receive massive contracts after their rookie deals expire, however.

"There is a history, there is a study, there is a decline after a certain point," he said. "But it's our job to try to maintain that level of play, and there's guys who have done it and those are the guys you call the great ones. They're Hall of Famers, they keep up with their 'A' game.

"I'm just glad that I was able to get my second contract and put everything else aside."

Rice feels his style of play lessens the risk of a significant financial commitment to a rusher.

"I think I bring more than just some battering ram and the way the quarterbacks are playing now, if you're a running back and you're not able to catch, then you become one-dimensional," he said. "So I think that played to my benefit of getting my second contract, that I caught so many passes, caught so many balls that when it was time to negotiate, it wasn't just about, 'Oh, you rushed for 1,000 yards.' I thinking the catching was what really put it over the top for me.

"I've been blessed. I've been really banged up. I don't really take the hits that people think I really take. It might be a pounding. It might be a load on the carries, but as far as taking crunching hits, I think I do a pretty good job of avoiding them."

As for the financials of the contract, Rice disputed rumors that he was demanding Adrian Peterson money. Peterson received a $100 million extension from the Minnesota Vikings in 2011.

Rice wanted one thing.

"I never wanted to be in a position where I had to hold out for more money. I just wanted to hold out for a fair deal, and that's what I got, a fair deal with the Ravens," he said. "Everything about it's fair and the way they structured it was fair. At the end of the day, (Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome) told me that, 'I would be able to give you a fair deal.' "

Rice already ranks second in franchise history in rushing yards and third in rushing touchdowns.

Over the next five years, he'll have a chance to shoot for the top spot on both lists.

"It's always great when you can achieve your personal goals and records and win as well," Rice said. "The personal goals would be great but my overall goal would be to win. I've always said I'd take lesser stats and a Super Bowl any day."

Perhaps the biggest personal accomplishment Rice can achieve, aside from helping the Ravens win and setting team records, is earn an elusive third contract from the team.

That'll be a problem for future Rice, but present Rice addressed it Wednesday.

"We know that was the ultimate goal," he said. "I actually like the way my contract is structured where in the final two years of my deal, I won't become such a hit on the salary cap.

"Ray Lewis says there's nothing like playing for one team, one organization, not shuffling around the league. I know at the running back position, these young guys are up and coming. But I think my age helps me in this situation. I'm 25 and there's been no sign of slowing down. The only thing that can be said is he had a load. He had a load in college as well, so I think as long as I'm able to take care of my body, go out and play the game fast, and as long as I can make people miss for a while, I think I can write my own chapter."