When the Ravens begin their offseason workout program next month, one person they won't have to worry about attending is Joe Flacco.
Now that the veteran quarterback signed a six-year contract reportedly worth $120.6 million, getting the deal out of the way removes the concern that he could sit out offseason workouts because of lingering contract negotiations.
Flacco plans to attend the team workouts, where it's critical to have the quarterback in place running through the offense because the coaching staff's time with the players is so limited.
"As much as people might want to sit at home all offseason, it gets pretty boring after about a month," Flacco said. "It's good to be around your guys and just have that locker room camaraderie and get out there and run a couple of routes and get everybody going."
Flacco was a regular participant in the workouts last season, despite the fact that he had ongoing contract negotiations at the time.
Running back Ray Rice, however, did not attend any of the offseason workouts while he was under the franchise tag and still waiting for a new deal. Most players don't attend workouts or even parts of training camp if they are in contract negotiations because they don't want to risk injury.
"It's always good to come back here and work with your teammates," Flacco said. "Start to push them to get that motivation to getting back to where we were last year."
The offseason workouts will ramp up in April, and then there will be a series of OTA's and minicamps in May and June before training camp opens at the end of July.
Being present for those workouts is important for Flacco, especially as he's taking it upon himself to keep the team from getting caught up in the Super Bowl hangover.
"There are definitely things that happened after you win the game that pull on you and wear on you," he said. "You can see how some teams do maybe take a year to kind of get back into the swing of things and get that motivation back.
"But, as the leader of the team and as the quarterback, you have to make sure you get your guys in and get them ready to go, because every year is a new year."