Jay Glazer of FOX Sports broke the news a little more than hour ago that the Baltimore Ravens had come to terms on a new contract with their quarterback Joe Flacco. Adam Schefter followed that up on Twitter with a report that stated Flacco will receive a six-year contract in excess of $120 million, which would make him the highest paid player in NFL history.
The real numbers have not emerged and Flacco and his agent Joe Linta reportedly will not be signing the contract until late Sunday night or early Monday morning.
Flacco, the MVP of Super Bowl XLVII last month, decided to play out the final year of his rookie contract last offseason after extension talks stalled. In other words, Flacco and his agent gambled and won.
Since being drafted in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft, Flacco has thrown 102 touchdown passes in 80 career games. His teams have won the AFC North twice and have made three appearances in the AFC Championship Game. One of those two AFC Championship Game losses came at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who Flacco has never beaten in the playoffs. The Delaware product does, however, own a 55.5% completion rate through his first five season and only once has he complete 60% or more of his passes in a regular season.
At some point the Ravens will get to experience managing a salary cap with a franchise quarterback in tow. The first year of Flacco\’s contract, however, could have a 2013 salary cap charge as low as $7 million depending how the deal is structured with the guaranteed money. Down the road, the base salary for Flacco will balloon and the Ravens will most likely have to start restructuring his contract as soon as the 2015 season in order to clear cap space.
By getting the Flacco deal done early, the Ravens do not have to worry about placing the franchise tag on him. Had the Ravens been forced to do that, contract talks could have gone on for several months. That in turn might have caused them to not be able to re-sign a few of their own key free agents.
With the new deal presumably only an autograph away, the Ravens can now turn their attention to linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger, as well as safety Ed Reed. All three are unrestricted free agents that the Ravens might be able to retain with the Flacco deal now out of the way.