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Joe Flacco agrees in principle to 3-year extension with Ravens

The Ravens needed to clear out some cap space for 2016 and turned to their franchise quarterback for help.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens announced that quarterback Joe Flacco has agreed to a three-year extension on his contract. Flacco signed a massive six-year, $120 million deal back in 2013 and while he has played about as well as the team expected, his cap numbers were about to get out of control.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that the extension will create $6 million in cap space for the Ravens this season and more than $13 million over the next two seasons.

Top tier quarterbacks in the NFL make approximately $20 million per year, but the Ravens saved quite a bit in the early years of Flacco's deal. He had a cap hit of just $6.8 million in 2013, and $14.55 million this past season. That's quite the jump in two years, but still not out of control for a quarterback.

But 2016 is when Flacco's cap number was supposed to jump to $28.55 million, followed by another huge increase at $31.15 million in 2017. The team clearly had to do something to restructure the deal so the cap hit wouldn't all be absorbed in one season. The Ravens seem pleased with the outcome.

The Ravens were always limited by how much they would be able to change. He has already been paid $62 million, while just $36.15 million of that has been counted against the cap thus far. They'll need to take the hit at some point, but for now, the team has done the maneuvering required to get the numbers more reasonable for the immediate future.

Flacco is entering his ninth season in the NFL but he's also coming off a serious knee injury that forced him out of six games last season. In 10 games, Flacco completed 64.4 percent of his passes -- a career high -- for 2,791 yards with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. It wasn't a great year for him, but the high completion percentage is a promising sign.

That has been one category he was decidedly average in through most of his early career. But he was also decent in that area in 2014, completing 62.1 percent of his passes with 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.