Late For Work 4/3: Biggest Misconception Of Joe Flacco's $120M Contract

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Biggest Misconception Of Flacco's Contract

Joe Flacco's $120 million contract hurts the Ravens' ability to sign free agents. Right?

Wrong.

ESPN's Jamison Hensley says this false notion is the "biggest misconception" of Flacco's $120 million contract.

That's especially true when you look at 1) the amount of cap space the Ravens had heading into free agency compared to other teams and 2) how his 2014 cap number compares to other quarterbacks in the league.

The Ravens burst through the free agency doors in March with more than a reported $24 million at their disposal. That ranked as the 11th-most salary cap space among all 32 teams. And remember, among the 10 teams ranked ahead of the Ravens were perennial low-spenders who rarely come anywhere close to spending to the cap limit, including the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals.

Flacco's reported $14.8 million cap number for 2014 isn't even the highest on the team. That distinction belongs to defensive tackle Haloti Ngata,* *who is reportedly scheduled to make $16 million.

Baltimore was hardly cap-strapped, even with their franchise quarterback on the payroll.

Flacco's 2014 cap number is not that high compared to other quarterbacks. It doesn't break the top-10 threshold. He's No. 11 (tied with Tom Brady) and it's hard to rank much lower considering most of the rest of the league is searching for a franchise quarterback or their franchise signal-caller is still playing on a rookie contract.

Of those that rank ahead of Flacco, half have not won a Super Bowl. Below is a look at the top 14 quarterback cap numbers, per ESPN:

Quarterbacks 2014 Cap Numbers                                             *
Eli Manning                         $20.4M
Ben Roethlisberger         $18.89M
Jay Cutler                            $18.5M
Drew Brees                        $18.4M
Sam Bradford                    $17.61M
Aaron Rodgers                  $17.55M
Matt Ryan                           $17.5M
Peyton Manning              $17.5M
Philip Rivers                        $16.66M
Matthew Stafford           $15.82M
*
Joe Flacco                           $14.8M

Tom Brady                          $14.8M
Carson Palmer                   $12M
Tony Romo                         $11.77M Rice Arraignment Set For April 28

The arraignment for running back Ray Rice has been scheduled for April 28 at 8:45 a.m. in the Atlantic County Superior Court in New Jersey, as was first reported by Fox 45.

The arraignment is when Rice will be officially notified of the charges he's facing (third-degree aggravated assault against his then-fiancée Janay Palmer) and he could enter a plea.

If convicted of aggravated assault, Rice could face between three to five years in jail. However, attorney Robert Lytle, who specializes in civil litigation and criminal defense, told 105.7 The Fan that Rice may not face any jail time because he is a first-time offender. Instead, the judge may allow Rice to go on probation.

Rice initially faced a simple assault-domestic violence charge after his arrest, but he was indicted by a grand jury on the more serious third-degree aggravated assault charge last week after reviewing the case.

The difference between the two, Robert explained, is the injury the victim sustained. Palmer being seemingly unconscious after an alleged blow brought the charges up to the third degree, per Lytle.

After Rice's indictment last week, the team released a statement saying: "This is part of the due process for Ray. We know there is more to Ray Rice than this one incident."

Ravens Schedule To Be Released Mid-April

The NFL schedule release usually is tied to the NFL Draft, and since it moved back to May this year, questions naturally followed about the timing of schedule announcement.

The league is still planning on revealing it in mid-April as it normally does, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told ProFootballTalk.com.

"Usually, the schedule is released on a Tuesday night; our current guess is that it'll be released on the 15th or 22nd," wrote Mike Florio.

Of course, the Ravens'* *2014 opponents are already known.

"Even though the 256 regular-season matchups already are known, merely answering the 'when' will become the top sports story of the day, eclipsing actual game action by the MLB, NBA, and NHL," wrote Florio.

T Zack Martin Makes Most Sense At No. 17

The Ravens have filled most of the key holes on their roster, but one big question mark remains at right tackle.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said Rick Wagner and Jah Reid are the current favorites to win the job, but that a potential draft selection could be added to the mix. Adding to that competition from the first round sounds like a good idea to The Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec.

"[I]t wouldn't be a sexy pick – and the Ravens may have just as big needs at other spots – but I'm not sure that selecting Notre Dame's Zack Martin doesn't make the most sense for the Ravens," Zrebiec wrote. "It will all depend, of course, on who is on the board when they prepare to make the 17th overall pick.

"Does a player like North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron fall in their laps? What about a pair of former Alabama standouts, linebacker C.J. Mosley and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix? The Ravens have filled enough of their needs in free agency that they'll be able to stay true to their board." 'Strange' Ravens Didn't Try To Sign Blount

The Ravens were reportedly interested in veteran running back LeGarrette Blount, but he instead joined the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

So the Ravens missed out on a bruising complement to Rice, and will now have to face a two-headed monster twice a year in Blount and Le'Veon Bell.

"It's strange that the Ravens didn't make more of an effort to get Blount," Hensley wrote. "His power running style was a good fit for the Ravens, and Blount came at a reasonable price ($3.85 million over two years)." 

He later added in a fan chat: "They obviously weren't that interested. [Blount] wasn't paid much by the Steelers. The free-agent running backs failed to land good deals. If the Ravens wanted one, they would have paid one."

Hensley predicts the Ravens will draft a running back in the third round or later. Bisciotti's Awesome Response To Doing Ray Lewis Dance In Golf

Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti loves golf.

After all, there's a putting green in front of the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills. He joked at the season-ending press conference that his top priority this offseason would be working on his 30-yard chip shot.

So if Bisciotti is having a good day at the golf course, does he break out Ray Lewis' signature squirrel dance?

"Ray asked me, 'Please stop trying it,'" Bisciotti told the Golf Channel. "I tried it a couple of times. It's not a good look for an old white guy."

Here's the full interview (mobile users tap "View in Browser" at the top of the page.)

Quick Hits

  • "In discussing the need to add another quarterback to compete for the backup job with Tyrod Taylor, Harbaugh mentioned that offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak is familiar with a couple of the options," Zrebiec wrote. "He wasn't specific, though it's probably worth noting that both Rex Grossman and Dan Orlovsky, among the top quarterbacks available on a thinned-out free-agent market, were with Kubiak's Houston Texans at one point." [The Baltimore Sun]
  • Hey Jamison, will the Ravens try to add Champ Bailey? "All indications from the Ravens is that they're going to start either Darian Stewart or a draft pick at free safety. Champ Bailey was an option before the Ravens signed Stewart to a one-year, $1.3 million deal," he wrote. [ESPN]
  • This isn't going to happen. The Ravens are on record. @RavenSalaryCap: $1.6M is before June 1. $2.2M if after 6/1. RT @rikumukherjee: how much cap space would the ravens save if they were to release sam koch? [Twitter]
  • Could Lardarius Webb get cut? "Not this year," Jamison wrote. "But his cap number is $11 million in 2015. The Ravens would open up $4 million in cap space by releasing him." [ESPN]
  • @BPierce: I swear to you that all this hard work gunna pay off #JustWatch #GrindNvrStops [Twitter]
  • @bynestime56: 2 days til i marry the love of my life!!  #oooooooo[crap] lol.....I GOT THIS!! [Twitter]
  • @untouchablejay4: "You can be successful and have enemies, Or you can be unsuccessful and have friends." [Twitter]
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  • Ryan Mink and Justin Tucker are hair twins! … @jtuck9: Fresh cut, fresh shave #nostarbucksdrakehands  [Twitter]
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