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Reports: Ravens, Joe Flacco Reach Agreement In Principle

Posted Mar 1, 2013

The 6-year deal is not yet finalized, but would make Joe Flacco the highest-paid player in NFL history.


The Ravens have agreed in principle to a deal with quarterback Joe Flacco.

General Manager Ozzie Newsome confirmed that the Ravens and Flacco have the parameters completed but still have some language and details to work out. The deal is expected to be signed on Monday, according to FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer.

It's a six-year deal worth $120.6 million, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter, just topping the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees' contract and making Flacco the highest-paid player in NFL history.

Finalizing a deal with Flacco before Monday's 4 p.m. franchise deadline would mean the Ravens wouldn't endure a salary cap hit of about $19.5 million under an exclusive tag or risk losing their quarterback with a non-exclusive tag.

It would also mean the Ravens know their budget so they can get to work re-signing their own free agents and know how much spending flexibility they have when the market opens on March 12.

While Flacco hasn't put up stats as big as Brees or some of the other highest-paid quarterbacks, he's excelled in the most important figure of all: winning.

Flacco is the only quarterback in league history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons. He leads the league in combined regular season and playoff wins (63) by a starting quarterback since 2008.

His play during the Ravens’ 2012 playoff run, capped off by an MVP performance in Super Bowl XLVII, solidified Flacco’s status among the league’s top quarterbacks.

Flacco’s 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the playoffs equaled San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana’s feat of 1989. Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers’ strong defense in Super Bowl XLVII.

The Ravens’ last quarterback to win a Super Bowl was Trent Dilfer in 2000. Baltimore parted ways with him that offseason, bringing in free agent Elvis Grbac.

Although Flacco’s contract negotiations took longer than expected considering the two sides were close to a deal before the start of the 2012 season, there was no way Flacco was going to leave Baltimore.

The Ravens have never committed to a quarterback as they have with Flacco. After Grbac’s one year they drafted Kyle Boller in the first round in 2003. Then they signed Steve McNair in 2006.

Baltimore drafted Flacco 18th overall out of Delaware in 2008. Since that season, they haven’t had to question who was starting under center.

Now they reportedly won’t have to worry about that for quite some time.

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