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Late For Work 2/26: Will Joe Flacco Follow Tom Brady?


Will Flacco Take A Page From Brady?

Well this just got more interesting.

Already at the epicenter of all offseason Ravens discussions, Joe Flacco's contract negotiations now have a new wrinkle from an unlikely source: Tom Brady.

The New England quarterback reportedly agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract extension Monday evening that will not only make him a Patriot for life, but will save the team $15 million in cap space over the next two years and keep them competitive on the free-agent market.

The $27 million is "eye-poppingly conservative" for a quarterback of Brady's stature, wrote Sports Illustrated's Peter King.

King gushed over Brady's move to put the team before his own contract. "For the second time in his illustrious career, Brady is doing something players in this day and age simply do not do."

Brady simply wrote on his Facebook page, "Just win."

Oh, and check out this quote from Brady back in 2005. He said this after winning his third Super Bowl title and agreeing to a sub-market, 6-year, $60 million deal.

"To be the highest-paid, or anything like that, is not going to make me feel any better,'' Brady said. "That's not what makes me happy. In this game, the more one player gets, the more he takes away from what others can get. Is it going to make me feel any better to make an extra million, which, after taxes, is about $500,000? That million might be more important to the team."

So are Flacco and his agent Joe Linta listening? Will this in any way affect their negotiations with the Ravens?

Here are a few opinions:

Jarrett Bell, USA Today:

"If you're Flacco, the Super Bowl MVP engaged in talks with the Baltimore Ravens, this could add pressure. Some may suggest he settle for less than the $20 million a year Drew Brees got last summer to become the NFL's highest-paid player. 'Take less for the team, Joe. Look at Brady.'

"Sure, Flacco should give the Ravens a discount if it means keeping potential free agents Ed Reed and Dannell Ellerbe plus trusted wideout Anquan Boldin in the fold. Yet Flacco could leave money on the table and those players could still leave. There are no guarantees. It's NFL business.

"Maybe a day comes when Flacco, 28, executes a Brady-esque cap maneuver. But he may never be this hot again. It's time for his monster deal."

Gregg Rosenthal,

"Let's not pretend this matters to Joe Flacco's negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens. Everything about his contract situation is different, starting with his age and free agent status. Brady's contract might make some quarterbacks look bad publicly, but it doesn't wipe away the mega contracts for Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. (Or even Brady's last contract.) Flacco is going to make his money."

Monte Burke, Forbes:

"Flacco, of course, has every right to chase the big money. He made $6.7 million last year, and he is certainly worth more than that. But if he is truly serious about winning on a consistent basis for the life of his next contract, taking a little less than the premium would undoubtedly help his team. … Ravens GM, Ozzie Newsome, and his assistant GM, Eric DeCosta, are very good at what they do, and maybe they can make a big long-term contract work. But if Flacco were to take a little less—which is maybe more in line with what he actually is worth—he'd make their jobs a lot easier. And maybe make the Ravens a better team."

Aaron Wilson, The Baltimore Sun:

"The three-year, $27 million contract extension for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady shouldn't affect the Ravens' pending business with quarterback Joe Flacco much, if at all. All the deal does is decrease the exclusive franchise tag from $20.46 million to $19.63 million, because Brady went from a $21.55 million cap figure down to $13.8 million in 2013."

More Details On Flacco Contract Meeting

Yesterday, it was reported that the initial contract talks between Linta and the Ravens got off to a "good start."

King shared more details on that meeting.

"The club negotiator, Pat Moriarty, and agent Joe Linta spent four hours together Friday night, then were spotted at the Capital Grille having dinner," he wrote.

"This isn't degenerating into what happened last summer – yet, and I don't think it will – when Linta and Flacco walked away with a deal agonizingly close. The Ravens know they can find a way to do a cap-friendly deal in years one and two, Flacco knows he doesn't want to leave Baltimore, and the extended conversation is a good sign that the two sides can reach a five- or six-year deal to keep the unsigned Flacco in Baltimore through the middle of his prime years before free agency opens in two weeks."

Ed Reed: 'I Am A Raven'

Safety Ed Reed wouldn't talk about being a pending free agent in the build-up to the Super Bowl or the celebration immediately afterwards.

The NFL Network's Rich Eisen got something out of him while originally talking about his Oscars red carpet appearance, however. He started by asking if Reed is technically a free agent now.

"Yeah, I'm not under contract, as far as I know," Reed said. "But I am a Raven, I am Baltimore, until other things say otherwise. Business or whatever."

Eisen asked Reed when he thinks this all may be settled. Reed shook his head and let out a deep breath, clearly not really enjoying the topic as much as his Oscars talk.

"I have no clue. You're sitting here looking at a player, coach, agent, all in one," Reed said.

"I'm just going to start my rehab and recovery like I've been doing already. Start my workout plan like I would any other time. When it happens it happens. I expect that me and the Ravens will talk about it and get something worked out. If we don't, hey, I'll always be a Raven."

Te'o Runs A Slow 40, Harbs Reacts

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o reportedly made a very good impression in his interviews with teams this weekend at the combine.

He may need to bank on that goodwill after Monday's 40-yard dash.

Te'o ran a slow time of 4.82 seconds. That time ranked 20th among the 26 linebackers at the combine. NFL Network's Mike Mayock said he would lock a first-round draft position with a 4.7, so he wasn't that close.

"To put Te'o's run in perspective, recall that 346-pound Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe nearly equaled that time at 4.87 last year," wrote's Chris Wesseling. "Te'o needed to crack 4.75 to erase doubts about his athleticism and ability to play all three downs."

"Te'o ran a 4.82 40 and could have possibly dropped out of the first round," wrote ESPN's John Clayton. "Teams need fast linebackers who can drop into coverage and chase down tight ends or fast running backs. Unless Te'o improves that 4.82, he might get some second-round grades."

Te'o, who confirmed to the NFL Network that he has interviewed with the Ravens, attributed his slow time to combine stress. Te'o said he usually got to bed in Indianapolis at midnight to 1 a.m. after interviews and then got up at 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. for testing. He awoke at 6:37 a.m. on Monday.

"It's very exhausting. If you ask anyone out here, it's a very exhausting process," Te'o said. "I did OK, I can obviously do a lot better, do a lot better. That's what Pro Days are for."

Check out Head Coach John Harbaugh's reaction while Te'o was running his second 40-yard dash.

Smoking Banned At M&T Bank Stadium

The Maryland Stadium Authority announced on Monday a complete ban on smoking at M&T Bank Stadium and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"We've had complaints over time," Stadium Authority Executive Director Michael Frenz told The Baltimore Sun. "So as we looked into the issue, we saw that we were a little bit permissive."

M&T Bank Stadium was one of 11 NFL venues to reserve space within the stadium gates for smokers, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation. It allowed smoking in designated areas of the concourse and near gates.

The ban takes effect March 4. M&T Bank Stadium hosts a pair of NCAA lacrosse games March 23, while Opening Day at Camden Yards is April 5. The new ban covers only lit tobacco.

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