Expect Restructured Contract For Flacco Next Year
While the nation got carried away with the $120 million figure along with the tagline "richest contract in NFL history," those who took a closer look at Joe Flacco's contract always knew it was *really *a three-year deal for about half the touted price.
Heck, even the quarterback's agent, Joe Linta, said as much after Flacco's deal was announced in 2013.
"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," Linta told The Baltimore Sun at the time.
As such, you can expect the Ravens and Flacco's camp trying to work out an extension or restructure at this time next year.
"[Flacco's contract] will be the No. 1 priority for the Ravens next offseason," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome acknowledged yesterday that the franchise's brain trust has already started to look into Flacco's cap number for 2016, which balloons to a reported $28.55 million and nearly doubles his $14.55 million cap number this coming season.
"Part of the discussion that we have down in Florida, we not only talk about the current year, but we talk about the years going forward," Newsome said, speaking of the annual trip top executives take to review roster plans and goals.
"We've already addressed that to a certain degree," he added. "We've had a chance to look at what 2016 would look like, you know, projecting how many draft choices would make our team. But we'll be prepared to deal with Joe at that number when we get there."
In reality, if the Ravens and Flacco re-do the deal, his original six-year, $120 million contract essentially becomes a three-year, $62 million deal. And even though it was touted as the richest NFL contract ever, Flacco's cap hit has been in the middle of the road compared to other quarterbacks. Check out the numbers below, per Spotrac.com:
2015: $14.55 million -----> Ranked No. 15 among quarterbacks
2014: $14.8 million -------> Ranked No. 11 among quarterbacks
2013: $6.8 million ---------> Ranked No. 17 among quarterbacks
Under the current contract, those figures drastically change to $28.55 million in 2016, $31.15 million in 2017 and $24.75 million in 2018. As it currently stands, his 2016 number would be the highest in the league.
Unless the league's salary cap limit drastically changes, those numbers are "so onerous that it [is] hard to envision Flacco playing under such circumstances," wrote The Sun's Jon Meoli.
"[The Ravens] are likely to restructure and free up some more money for Flacco's supporting cast in 2016."
Jarret Johnson Announces Retirement
The Ravens' former "iron man" called it quits on his NFL career Tuesday.
Jarret Johnson announced his retirement via Instagram after 12 seasons, including nine with the Ravens. Baltimore originally drafted "Double J" in the fourth round in 2003 out of the University of Alabama.
He astutely applied those lessons from Baltimore well when he arrived in San Diego. In January, his Chargers teammates voted Johnson the co-Most Inspirational Player of the Year for the second time.
Of the 144 regular-season games the Ravens played with Johnson on the team, he only missed one. He accumulated 20 sacks and 382 tackles in Baltimore and left via free agency with franchise records in consecutive games played (129) and consecutive starts.
Former teammate Terrell Suggs took to Instagram to send a shout-out to his good friend.
"TAKE A BOW!!!! Jarrett "Double J" Johnson retiring from football today. IT's been an honor to fight at your side!!!" Suggs wrote.
We wish Johnson the best as he embarks on the next chapter of his life, and thank him for perhaps the best memory we have of his playing days … absolutely DE-CLEATING retired Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward.
Report: Ngata Offer 'Very Good' … But Does Ngata Think So?
Ravens brass shed little light yesterday on the ongoing contract negotiations with defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who Owner Steve Bisciotti referred to as a "Ravens icon."
As we await more details, ESPN's Ed Werder characterized the Ravens' offer as more than fair, but he didn't give specific figures.
But would Ngata agree?
"Presumably, that means an offer that the Ravens view as 'very good.' Presumably, Ngata disagrees with the characterization of the offer as 'very good' or else Ngata would have agreed to it already," wrote ProFootballTalk.com's Michael David Smith.
"Werder also notes that Ngata is 31 and was suspended four games last season, two facts that the Ravens are surely pushing as they attempt to explain why one of their best players of recent years should have to take a pay cut."
Can Ravens Realistically Maintain Stance On Domestic Violence?
The Ravens made their stance crystal clear yesterday when it comes to drafting or pursing veterans that have domestic violence in their backgrounds.
Newsome said such players will have a hard time becoming a Raven, but Hensley wonders if that strong position is realistic.
"It speaks loudly about how serious the organization is taking this issue since the Ray Rice scandal, even more so than their charitable donations to the cause," the ESPN reporter asserted. "Still, maintaining this uncompromising position is going to be difficult. It might be unrealistic in this bottom-line NFL."
Some players the Ravens would theoretically have had to pass on include cornerback Cary Williams, wide receivers Dez Bryant and Randy Moss. Plus, one of this year's top wideout prospects in the draft, Dorial Green-Beckham, would be passed up if he fell to the Ravens at No. 26.
"There's no questioning that domestic violence is an important issue, and the NFL had to take a tougher approach when these incidents occur," Hensley wrote. "But taking an extreme reaction like the Ravens are is a tough business model for success.
"This is the right decision in terms of rebuilding the Ravens' reputation, but if Green-Beckham becomes the next Moss or Bryant, you can make the argument that it's not the right decision in building a championship team."
Bisciotti: 2014 'An Absolute Crappy Year'
Hensley discusses why last season was so difficult personally for Bisciotti, who said it was an "absolute crappy year" and joked that now that he has recovered, we can take him off suicide watch.