Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome walks thru the locker room past Joe Flacco, other players start up a chant: ”Pay the man, pay the man.”
No worries: Flacco will get paid. The question is, by which team?
Yet Flacco’s expiring contract does not seem to concern anybody with the Ravens, including the quarterback himself.
Flacco practically shrugged when questioned about potentially being a free agent after the Ravens play with the 49ers in the Super Bowl.
”It’s real simple,” said Flacco, who made $6.76 million this year in the final season of his rookie contract. ”We failed to agree on a number and I didn’t really care to talk about it any further once it became to that point. Bottom line is I am not the guy going up into their offices and negotiating with them each day anyway. It was actually never a concern of mine and I never really thought about it. Even in the offseason, when you think about it a little bit, they’re really all good thoughts.
”It’s a good problem to have and to be talking about.”
The guy talking about it with Ravens management is agent Joe Linta. He and Newsome lately had brief discussions about a new contract, but nothing was done.
”The onus is on them to make a move after this week,” announced Linta, who recognizes the Ravens could slap the franchise tag on Flacco for 2013 at a price of about $14.6 million. ”I would guess they’d like to keep him. He’s 28, in the peak of his football life, has never missed a game. His resume on the table is exceptional and his future is even brighter.”
If that resume has a Super Bowl win, Flacco might cost the Ravens in the $20 million per year range that Tom Brady and the Mannings are at. Flacco, a 1st-round draft pick in 2008 out of Delaware, already is the only quarterback to win a playoff game in each of his first 5 seasons. He passed Eli Manning for most road victories in the postseason when Ravens won the AFC championship at New England. Baseball odds
Coach John Harbaugh says the doubtful contract standing for the only quarterback to win 6 road playoff games ”has been amazingly unchallenging.”
”I think that’s a credit to Joe firstly. Joe doesn’t stress about that stuff,” Harbaugh expounded. ”It’s not something that matters to him. He’s not a guy that is bundled up in that. I think he feels that it should work out; you do all your talking on the field. It’s about football.
”He figured that he’ll go out there and look after business this year, lead the team, play as well as he could play and see what happens.”
What’s happened thus far is uncommon: a Super Bowl quarterback possibly (although unlikely) on the open market.
One guy who won’t be around if Flacco returns next season is star linebacker Ray Lewis, who is retiring after the Super Bowl. But Lewis echoes his teammates’ belief that Flacco isn’t going anywhere.