The Baltimore Ravens got exactly what they wanted from Joe Flacco when he led the team to a championship last season, but the situation could not have worked out worse for ownership regarding the franchise quarterback’s contract. Rather than signing Flacco to an extension in 2012, the Ravens waited until he won a Super Bowl and stripped them of any leverage they may have had.
Last August, Flacco and the Ravens were close on a five-year extension worth an average of $16 million per year. Flacco’s camp ended up walking away from the discussions, and his agent Joe Linta says the dispute was over $1 million in the final year of the deal. Now, Linta is throwing it in the team’s face that they didn’t act sooner.
“I’ve never in my life seen a dumber move,” Linta told USA Today Sports on Sunday. “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.”
While the contract spans over five years, it is realistically only a three-year deal that will need to be reworked in year four. Before the 2016 season, Flacco’s cap hit will be sitting at $28.55. In all likelihood, the Ravens will have to extend him further at that point in order to give the team more cap space.
“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.”
Linta has no reason to apologize for getting his client Tom Brady and Peyton Manning money. Despite his mediocre regular season stats, Flacco has had great success in the postseason and has already won a championship at age 28. The Ravens took a gamble and lost, but they won a Super Bowl in the process. Who’s to say Flacco would have been as motivated if he wasn’t playing for a contract? I’m sure the team’s owners aren’t crying themselves to sleep over his contract.