Squeezing out millions for Flacco

Squeezing out millions for Flacco
February 20, 2013, 12:45 am
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Joe Flacco has so much leverage, he could hold up the Ravens for a lot of money, that $20 million a year that keeps getting thrown about by people who don’t have to actually write that check. But how set is the quarterback about reaching that number, especially given how much it would hamstring the Ravens in relation to the salary cap?

Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com has this take on Flacco’s contract situation: “I've known Flacco long enough, and spent enough time figuring out what makes him tick, to know that in the end he wants to win and he wants to feel respected, and he is no one's sucker and he never lacks for confidence ... but above all else he wants to win. And he wants to win in Baltimore. And at a certain point, what is the difference between $61 million over the first three years of the deal and $55 million over the first three years of the deal or $64 million over the first three years? When the bounty is that large, how do those monetary values really differ?”

Another argument for Flacco’s reaching a contract agreement is how risky it would be to play the 2013 season under the franchise tag. He’d make $14.6 million in a one-year deal, but that’s still a big number for the cap-stressed Ravens. As La Canfora points out, even Flacco’s franchise number could result in the Ravens’ loss of key players. And if those key players include wide receiver Anquan Boldin or other key pass-catchers, Flacco won’t look nearly as good as he did in the postseason. That could result in a much lower contract after the franchise year.

Then there is the matter of whether another team actually would be able to give Flacco much more money. La Canfora says maybe only the Browns could work that out, and it seems doubtful Flacco would leave Baltimore for Cleveland.

“Let's say that the Browns put together a deal worth $21 million a year, and the Ravens are at, say, $18.7 [million]. Is it worth it to walk? Is it worth it to go to a franchise that has done nothing but fail since re-entering the NFL, compared to staying in Baltimore, with a superior recent history and front office, and have the chance to win a Super Bowl any given year?”

Clearly, Flacco is going to sign a rich deal no matter what. At this point, it’s a just a matter of how much more he’ll squeeze out and how much room under the cap the Ravens will be left with.