The Ravens will be back at the negotiating table with quarterback Joe Flacco next offseason.
During a conference call Wednesday night with PSL owners, Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti acknowledged that the Ravens will try to work out another extension with their franchise quarterback next year to avoid a huge salary-cap hit in 2016.
"I'm very confident that we'll get it done," Bisciotti said during the call. "Joe and his agent both acknowledged when we did the deal that we would be back at the negotiating table three years later. And certainly we're just as interested in Joe as we were three years ago."
The reason for trying to extend Flacco is because his salary-cap hit takes a massive jump next year. His cap hit is only about $15 million this year – which reportedly ranks 14th in the league – but that jumps to about $28 million in 2016. That cap hit would be the most in team history by a significant margin, and would put limitations on the money that the Ravens had available to spend on other players in free agency.
Instead of having Flacco play out next season with a huge cap hit, the preference is to extend him for three more years so that his cap number is more consistently $20 million each year instead of wild swings.
"We can make it a win-win for Joe," Bisciotti said. "I think he'll be very amenable to a new deal and it would be our job since we already have $28 [million] fitting under [the cap], to flatten out those hits on our cap so that they're more consistent and don't jump from $14 [million] to $28 [million], but they jump like 19-20-21-22-23, something like that."
If the Ravens and Flacco were unable to work out a contract extension, Bisciotti did say that the Ravens would be prepared to have Flacco play with the big cap hit next year.
"The only thing that we did to alleviate a lot of those nerves was to build our 2016 roster with his number," Bisciotti said. "It jumps from $15 [million] to $28 [million], and we have it accounted for."
When Flacco signed his $120.6 million contract after winning the Super Bowl, it was the richest contract in NFL history. His price sky-rocketed with his Super Bowl MVP performance, and Bisciotti said the Ravens were surprised at the annual salary he commanded.
"We were kind of in shock and I think the whole league was in shock when the market was showing that it was $20 million a year," Bisciotti said. "Quite frankly, we weren't prepared to do that."
Flacco has been one of the league's top quarterbacks during his seven years in Baltimore. He's made the playoffs in six of those seven years, and won a playoff game on each of those trips. Flacco hasn't missed a game in his career and his 82 wins including playoffs are the most by any starting quarterback since he entered the league in 2008.
The Ravens have already made a significant financial contribution to Flacco, and Bisciotti plans to have Flacco as his quarterback for years to come.
"I'm not real worried about it because I know he wants to stay," Bisciotti said.