Contract negotiations didn't quite work out between the Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco last August. Now with their star quarterback and Super Bowl MVP set to become a free agent, the franchise is looking to lock him down for many years to come.
Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, believes his client deserves to be the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. While the Ravens are prepared to fork over plenty of cash, they want both sides to come away happy from the contract talks.
General manager Ozzie Newsome said on Thursday the Ravens are "looking to get a fair deal with Joe". Fair may be an arbitrary term here depending on who you ask, but it's clear Baltimore doesn't want to use a franchise tender on No. 5.
If the Ravens placed the non-exclusive tender on Flacco, it would cost them $14.6 million for 2013. The exclusive tender would run at a mere $20 million. With several key players headed for free agency, Baltimore appears to know it would be wise to structure a cap-friendly contract for Flacco.
Drew Brees' contract pays him $20 million a year, the highest of any passer. The Ravens would be hard pressed to hand Flacco a steeper deal than that.
Ravens majority owner Steve Bisciotti says he doesn't think winning the Super Bowl will make negotiations more difficult. Flacco's side of the table may feel differently. Regardless, expect the Ravens do whatever they can to avoid using a franchise tag before free agency begins in March.
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