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Joe Flacco didn’t know the rule, but wanted Ravens on sidelines to tackle Ted Ginn if he broke return

Joe Flacco Dennis PittaJoe Flacco was so desperate to win the Super Bowl on Sunday that he was encouraging his teammates on the sidelines to tackle 49ers return man Ted Ginn Jr. if it looked like he was going to score on the game’s final play.

The Ravens were up 34-31 and punted on a free kick with four seconds left for what would ultimately be the last play of the game.

On NFL Films’ “Sound FX,” Flacco can be heard telling his teammates on the sidelines to tackle Ginn in case the returner broke one.

Here’s how his conversations went, as transcribed by Shutdown Corner:

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Joe Flacco’s agent believes he should be the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback

Joe FlaccoBy leading the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl championship, Joe Flacco not only did the best possible thing he could do for the organization, but also for his own contract situation. Flacco will become a free agent this offseason, and there is no better leverage in contract negotiations than the Vince Lombardi trophy.

The 28-year-old is in for a massive payday, but how big are we talking? We already know he wants to stick it to Baltimore’s owners. And at the moment, Flacco’s agent Joe Linta believes his client deserves to be the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL.

“When you do a contract of this magnitude, you look at what is the player’s body of work presently,” Linta said, via Brian A. Shactman of CNBC. “And what are the expectations going forward over the next four, five or six years.

“Joe wins on both accounts.”

When asked if Flacco should be the league’s top earner at the quarterback position, Linta emphatically said that he should be. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees averages $20 million per season with his new deal, which means the Ravens would have to eclipse that number to put Flacco at the top. He would also make more than Peyton Manning if that happened, as Manning made $18 million with the Denver Broncos this past season.

Linta pointed to the fact that Flacco is several years younger than both Manning and Brees and has already won the same amount of championships. While Flacco and his agent have the hardware and age needed to prove their point, you have to assume at least some common sense will come into play.

Do the Ravens want to lose Flacco after what he just accomplished? Absolutely not, and they won’t. But you have to wonder if Flacco is capable of single-handedly leading his team to Super Bowls the way guys like Brees, Manning, and Tom Brady have. His record says he is. Statistics say he isn’t. If Baltimore’s defense slips as it gets older, will Flacco be able to carry the team? Quarterbacks who earn $20 million per year need to be able to do just that.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Frank Gore on Super Bowl loss to Ravens: Niners were the better team

Winning in the NFL on a weekly basis is difficult enough, let alone winning four straight games in the playoffs against the best teams in the league. Generally speaking, the team that wins the Super Bowl deserves the right to be called the best. The Baltimore Ravens earned that right by beating the San Francisco 49ers this year, but Frank Gore is not willing to fully admit that.

“It’s tough,” the Niners running back said Sunday according to ESPN.com. “I just feel like we [were] the better team. They got away with one today. We showed we were the better team. It was just a couple plays here, a couple plays there.”

Any Super Bowl is bound to come down to a couple plays, but I disagree with Gore that the Niners showed they were a better team. If anything, they showed that they were completely outmatched until the stadium lights went out and things seemed to turn in their favor.

“I think we’re the better team,” Gore said. “[I'm] just happy the way we kept fighting. Any other team probably would’ve just laid down, and we let people know what type of guys we’ve got in the locker room, type of warriors we are. It just didn’t happen for us today.”

Gore has every right to be proud of what his team accomplished, but it seems like we have at least one person who pulls the “the better team lost” card every year. Last year, it was Baltimore linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo who refused to give credit to the AFC and NFC champions. Would the Niners have beaten the Ravens three out of five times if the two teams played a series? It’s possible, but this is the NFL. The team hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season is is No. 1.

Ravens might release Anquan Boldin because of salary cap problems

Anquan BoldinAnquan Boldin has been one of the top offensive performers for the Baltimore Ravens this postseason and has helped lead them to the Super Bowl. It would be hard to imagine the Ravens playing without him in the future, but that might end up being the case.

Per Rotoworld, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on “NFL Live” Thursday that the Ravens may end up releasing Boldin after the Super Bowl because of salary cap issues they’re facing.

Schefter says the Ravens are $5 million over the salary cap for next season, and that’s without factoring in a new deal for quarterback Joe Flacco. Boldin is scheduled to earn $6 million next season. Cutting him reportedly would save the team $5.5 million against the salary cap.

Though releasing Boldin is not something Baltimore would want to do, it’s something they may have to do.

Boldin was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals after the 2009 season for a third and fourth-round pick. Though he has not recorded a 1,000-yard season with the team, he has 14 touchdown catches. He also has five touchdown catches in seven playoff games with the team, including three this postseason.

Image via YouTube

Ravens cheerleader Courtney Lenz says she was not invited to the Super Bowl because of her weight (Video)

Courtney-Lenz-Ravens-cheerleaderCourtney Lenz is a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader, but she is not welcome at the Super Bowl despite her team being one of the two that is playing for a championship. On Wednesday evening, Lenz sat down for an interview on “Access Hollywood” and explained why she has been barred from the big game. She says that it ultimately has to do with her weight.

“They said that I had quote, unquote, a rough year,” Lenz said, via the Chicago Tribune. “I’d been benched earlier in the season for a little bit of a weight gain. We do get weighed every week during the season, and you can’t fluctuate at all. I gained, I think it was 1.8 pounds. I had been consistent and they let me cheer previously and then I gained 1.8 or 1.6 pounds and they said because I had gained weight and they wanted me to be consistent or they wanted me to lose, they benched me for a game and because it was a disciplinary action, that was the reason.”

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Spending habits of Ravens, Niners proves defense still wins championships

John-Harbaugh-Jim-HarbaughDuring the 2012 regular season, 11 NFL quarterbacks threw for more than 4,000 yards. Through the 2008 season, only two quarterbacks in league history had ever thrown for more than 5,000 in a single season — Dan Marino with 5,084 in 1984 and Drew Brees with 5,069 in 2008. Then, in 2011, Brees, Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford all threw for over 5,000 yards. Eli Manning just missed the mark with 4,933.

Statistics would tell you that the game is changing and offense is taking over. The Ravens and the 49ers would tell you that we’re still watching the same old NFL, and defense still wins championships.

The Guardian recently examined the spending habits of all 32 NFL teams for the 2012 season, and the numbers show that 17 teams spent more money on defense than they did on offense. Of the 12 teams that made the playoffs in both the NFC and AFC, exactly half dedicated more of their salary cap dollars to defense than offense. Two of those teams remain standing, and their overall numbers are strikingly similar.

The Ravens dedicated $64 million to their defense this season, which is the fifth-highest amount in the NFL. The Niners spent $61.4 million on that side of the ball, which places them seventh in the league. San Francisco also ranked in the top 10 in offensive spending with $58.5 million, while Baltimore came in it 23rd with $49.1 million.

In an era where spread offenses and empty backfields have taken over, Baltmore general manager Ozzie Newsome and San Francisco GM Trent Baalke have decided to place an emphasis on defense. Their approach has carried them over some of the best offenses in the league in Green Bay and New England and all the way to New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII. Finesse and scoring may lead to wins in the regular season, but the two teams in the Super Bowl have proven that smash-mouth football and stout defense can still prevail come playoff time.

Torrey Smith: Ray Lewis isn’t the only guy here

Over the next two weeks, the media will spend a tremendous amount of time focusing on Ray Lewis and the final chapter of his career with the Baltimore Ravens. Since the 13-time Pro Bowler announced that he will retire after the season, the Ravens have appeared to play with more urgency. However, he is hardly the only reason Baltimore is headed to New Orleans for Super Bowl 47.

On Monday, Torrey Smith reminded reporters that there are 52 other players on the team who have earned a shot at the title just as much as Lewis has. And they want to capture the Vince Lombardi trophy just as badly as he does.

“We wanted to be here before (Lewis) said he wanted to retire,” Smith said according to Around the League. “We all want to win a Super Bowl. You know, Ray isn’t the only guy here. He has one (ring) and we all know that this is his last shot at it. Ed Reed has never been to the Super Bowl. Terrell Suggs has never been to one. Anquan Boldin has never won one, he’s been there. These are (who) I play for every day, we play for each other.”

Good for Torrey. He was in no way trying to upstage Lewis or understate what he has accomplished, but a team is a team. When players are asked question after question about the same person on their team, it starts to take its toll. It doesn’t matter if that player is a rookie or a 17-year veteran. Lewis has already won a Super Bowl. Do the Ravens want him to be able to end his NFL career on top? Sure, but they want to win a Super Bowl for the same reasons every other player in the league wants to win one. Ray’s retirement tour is simply a footnote.