The Ravens are reportedly “close” to working out a contract extension with quarterback Joe Flacco.
Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, reportedly met with Baltimore's negotiator Pat Moriarty multiple times at the NFL Scouting Combine in the hope of hammering out an extension before free agency opens March 9.
Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said he would be "really surprised and disappointed" if the two sides didn't come to a new deal, and here is how some prominent NFL analysts see the negotiations unfolding:
Adam Schefter, ESPN
"It's not hard. First and foremost, no player is giving back money, so let's be very clear about that. I love when I hear a player is re-doing his deal 'to help the team.' Yeah, it does help the team, and it does help the player. So let's clear up that misperception, and Joe Flacco is no different than any other player. I'm just saying as a generalization that it always drives me crazy when I hear, 'a player is trying to help the team' – and himself. But Joe Flacco should want to do that. He should want to help the team and himself. It's perfectly logical. Any of us would want to do that. So at some point you sit down, you come up with a better cap number, you give him more guaranteed money, you spread out the money and you make it so the team has more flexibility right now."
Ian Rapoport, NFL Media
"To me, it doesn't seem like a huge deal. It's more of an accounting issue than anything. When they did this contract, this was going to be the year where they would check it and re-do it. This was always sort of the plan. You'd be hard-pressed to find anything – including ACL recovery – you'd be hard-pressed to find anything standing in the way of that. I'd imagine both sides would meet and figure it out, and that will be that."
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports
"I think that at the end of the day, the way these usually occur, is that you take big base salaries, you convert them into bonuses, and you spread them out. And in this case to spread it out, you would probably have to tack on additional years because you want to pro-rate that amount over five years if you could, vs. the three years he has left on his deal. That would be sort of the most boilerplate, common way that it's done. But there is nothing in Flacco's contract that says he has to agree to anything. So do they have to incentive things for him? Again, adding a few years would do it. If they're not comfortable with that, then there could be a little bit a rub there."