When talking or writing about the Pittsburgh Steelers salary cap situation in the past, I often refer to the team having to pay for the sins that come with having a franchise quarterback under contract as to the main reason why it seems the organization is always up against the number. Unfortunately, several in the fan base can\’t wrap their head around this concept and instead want to point to Omar Khan and general manager Kevin Colbert mismanaging deals and the cap as to the reason why the team is always perceived as being one that is in “salary cap hell.”
Granted, the Steelers front office has made some bad decisions in the past when it comes to long-term contracts, but that is going to happen from time to time. They are future bets gone bad and most of the time it is related to players not being able to stay healthy. Willie Colon is the latest example of this, but in the end, it hasn\’t crippled the organization beyond repair.
The Baltimore Ravens are now a team that is about go through what the Steelers have gone through for the last several years with their salary cap thanks to them signing quarterback Joe Flacco to a new six-year, $120.6-million contract earlier in the off-season According to Flacco\’s agent Joe Linta, however, the Ravens could have gotten off a lot cheaper had they not squabbled over $1 million last off-season when the two sides were negotiating a five-year extension that would have averaged $16 million a year and it would have included Flacco\’s final year of his rookie contract to boot.
Jim Corbet of USA Today reported on Sunday the details of the botched negotiations listed above, and he also quotes Linta as not feeling sorry for the Ravens decision one bit.
“I\’m not apologetic for the fact this is really a three-year deal, there\’s no way they can afford $29 million a couple of years from now,\’\’ Linta said. “I\’m not apologetic. They chose to walk away.\’\’
The extra $1 million that the Ravens weren\’t willing to pay would have come in the final year of the proposed extension last off-season, and Linta says that decision cost the Ravens $35 million. Oh, and that $1 million reportedly wouldn\’t have even been guaranteed.
“I\’ve never in my life seen a dumber move, said Linta,” via the Corbet report. “I guess people can say, \’Well, Joe was dumb, too.\’ It could have been (dumb), God forbid, if he got hurt. But $1 million to Steve Bisciotti six years from now? That\’s like 100 bucks for you or me today.”
Linta goes on to point out that the Ravens will be forced to restructure Flacco\’s contract prior to the 2016 season because his cap number will jump up to $28.55 million that year as a result of option bonuses needing to be turned into signing bonuses in both 2014 and 2015. I pointed out this same thing in my post about Flacco\’s contract after the numbers came out. So essentially the Ravens can kicking begins next off-season and won\’t stop for a while.
Apparently, there are several in the Ravens fan base that are now mad at Flacco, because they now have a full understanding of what his new deal will do to the their salary cap situation down the road. I guess they already forgot about the Super Bowl, and the risk that Flacco took last season by playing out his rookie deal. Instead of being mad at Flacco; however, Ravens fans instead need to be mad at general manager Ozzie Newsome and owner Steve Bisciotti. They made a million-dollar gamble and lost as it relates to the future of the team salary cap wise.
Now, I am not going to say that one bad decision will cripple the Ravens franchise moving forward, but Newsome will really have his skills tested now that he has the sins of a franchise quarterback to pay for, and those sins could have cost the Ravens a lot less.