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Late For Work 3/6: Joe Flacco's Contract Really A Three-Year Deal

Posted Mar 6, 2013

SportsNation votes on Flacco contract. Miller guarantees Denver Super Bowl win. Goodell’s greatest fear.


Flacco’s Contract Really A Three-Year Deal

When Joe Flacco signed his contract Monday afternoon, he agreed to a six-year deal that made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

But closer examination of the deal shows that Flacco’s contract is really more of a three-year agreement.

That’s because in the fourth year of the contract, Flacco’s salary cap hit will balloon to $28.55 million, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. That high salary figure will be incredibly difficult to afford barring an unexpected jump in the salary cap, and Flacco’s agent Joe Linta acknowledged that the contract will likely be revisited after the 2015-16 season.

"Depending on the salary cap, that's what will determine when we get to the fourth year, what they're going to have to do," Linta told The Sun. "We really viewed this as sort of a three-year deal to make sure the first three years Joe was paid accordingly with the top guys in the league."

After the third season, the expectation is that the Ravens will restructure the deal so that Flacco takes a lower annual salary, giving the Ravens more room under the cap. Restructuring big contracts like Flacco’s is routine in the NFL, especially for the elite class of signal callers.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has restructured his deal the last two seasons. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady just accepted a new three-year contract extension to lower his cap hit. Giants quarterback Eli Manning recently restructured his contract.

"You only do that with elite players,” said former agent and current National Football Post analyst Joel Corry. “Otherwise, you're setting up a situation where the player gets cut when he gets to the higher cap numbers. By restructuring, it helps you retain more of your core players and stay competitive in free agency.”

While Flacco will eventually be a prime candidate to get his contract restructured, that doesn’t mean he’ll end up taking any less money or that the Ravens will be looking to move on from him.

The plan is clear that both sides expect Flacco in Baltimore for a the long haul, and now it will just continue to be about making sure the money lines up accordingly.

Flacco said after the signing the deal Monday that he hopes the contract keeps him in Baltimore  for the rest of his career.

"That’s kind of the way you look at it," Flacco said. "I love playing here. It’s been an awesome five years. We’ve had a spectacular team. We have an amazing group of fans. It’s close to where I grew up. It’s great for my family. There are a lot of really, really good benefits for playing for this organization. You can’t say them all, but that’s the plan, and I can’t see it happening any other way.”

SportsNation Says Flacco Doesn’t Deserve Contract

As soon as Flacco and the Ravens came to terms with the six-year contract, the debate started about whether he deserved the big payday.

ESPN asked fans to voice their opinions on the topic, and the majority felt that Flacco didn’t deserve a record-setting contract. According to the 33,899 votes in a SportsNation poll, 83 percent said that Flacco didn’t deserve the big deal.

In writing about the poll results, ESPN AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley included comments from a number of fans, both positive and negative. Some fans bashed the Ravens for the deal, but Scott from College Park defended the contract, saying that Baltimore had to give Flacco a huge contract after he just led the team to a Super Bowl.  

Scott from College Park, Md.: “Is Joe Flacco the best player in the NFL? No. But he signed his deal at the perfect time, coming off of a historic postseason. He didn't sign his contract the same time as Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning, so comparing the deals makes little sense. The Ravens had to lock up their franchise QB, period, and it was a deal that should make both sides happy.”

Flacco took a chance this year by turning down a contract before the season, and he ended up winning big. He defended his contract (in the video below) and said, “I believe I’m worth what I’m worth.”

The Ravens obviously felt that Flacco was worth a $120.6 million deal, and now they have the most important position in football taken care of for the foreseeable future. 

 

Miller Guarantees Super Bowl Win

On the Ravens’ path to a Super Bowl XLVII victory, they had to pull off the improbable task of going into Denver and taking down a Broncos team that was the NFL’s best during the regular season.

That upset stuck with the Broncos and their fans, and Denver’s star linebacker Von Miller says the Broncos will be the ones hoisting the Lombardi Trophy this year.

You can post this where ever . . . Denver broncos will win the Super Bowl,” he tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Miller then went on NFL Network and stood by his guarantee. Miller made the claim after his 6-year-old cousin Jeremiah emerged from a coma, and Miller said that he’s dedicating the season to him.

Quick Hits

  • Wide receiver Torrey Smith remembers that Denver game too, especially the sub-zero temperatures. Check out this photo he posted yesterday, along with the caption, “Question- "Is it cold out here" (Denver Playoff Game" Answer- This Face.” [Instagram]
    http://instagram.com/p/Wf9hIuk-YQ/
  • @TeamFlacco: “Just wanted to thank everyone for their well-wishes and support, much appreciated – Joe.” [Twitter]
  • Flacco also posted a message on Facebook voicing his support for former Delaware football coach K.C. Keeler, who was recently fired by the Blue Hens. Flacco wrote, “I will always be grateful that Coach Keeler was at UD when I was looking for a home. When I seemed to have no friends and no one wanted to give me an opportunity, he was the one who opened the door for me.” [Facebook]
  • After a strong rookie season, running back Bernard Pierce says “next year, I’m going to try to do a lot better.” [The Baltimore Sun]
  • One of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s greatest fears is that a player will die on the field. [ESPN.com]
  • Former Maryland standout Shawne Merriman announced he’s officially retiring from the NFL after eight seasons in the league. In a statement on his website, Merriman wrote, "I retire today not because I don’t feel I can go out there and still play the game at a very high level, I am retiring because I want to retire on my own terms and leave while I know I can still physically play the game.” [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Check out the newspaper ad the Ravens took out in the New Orleans Times Picayune. [Twitter]

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