'Potential Mess' Looming With Joe Flacco Contract
One of the biggest pieces of news to come out of last week's PSL owners conference call with Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti was the declared certainty that Baltimore and quarterback Joe Flacco will be back at the negotiating table next offseason.
This process worked out pretty well for Flacco last time, as he turned down the Ravens' first offer during the 2012 season, played out the year and cashed in for even more after being named Super Bowl XLVII MVP.
But Bisciotti said he is "very confident" they'll get a new contract done this time before Flacco's salary-cap hit jumps from $14.5 million this year to a whopping $28.5 million in 2016. Bisciotti said he thinks Flacco will be "very amenable to a new deal."
Well, ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio isn't so sure in a story titled, "Ravens have a potential mess in 2016 with Flacco contract."
"The Ravens will need Flacco to agree to an extension," Florio wrote. "Which means that Flacco will once again hold the cards. If he says, "No, I'm fine with my contract," will the Ravens increase their offer on a new deal — or will the Ravens cut him loose?
"While the situation won't reach full boil until next February or March, it will loom over the 2015 Ravens, with plenty of talk and rumors and speculation about what eventually will happen with Flacco as of 2016."
Bisciotti, however, has already claimed that folks shouldn't get too nervous about Flacco potentially leaving. Flacco could play out his contract as it currently stands, so that does give the Ravens some more leverage.
"The only thing that we did to alleviate a lot of those nerves was to build our 2016 roster with his number," Bisciotti said. "It jumps from $15 [million] to $28 [million], and we have it accounted for."
It may be a matter of whether Flacco wants to help the Ravens get his salary-cap number to a more manageable $20 million per year, which would allow more room to sign other free agents and keep some of Baltimore's own.
As our John Eisenberg wrote, Flacco and the Ravens, are in some ways, partners.
Yanda Extension Expected First
Bisciotti named three Ravens he would like to sign to contract extensions this offseason: cornerback Jimmy Smith, kicker Justin Tucker and guard Marshal Yanda.
"Of those three, Yanda is more likely to get done first," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "Smith and Tucker are looking for their first big paydays, and Yanda has already gone through the process of signing an extension with the Ravens."
Hensley wrote it's difficult to put a timetable on when a deal will be struck, adding that Yanda's last contract extension came at the end of July. That would be just in time to give Baltimore additional room to make signings during, or at the end of, training camp.
So will it get done? Bisciotti said talks were active between the two sides.
"As I wrote previously, this would be a win-win for the Ravens and Yanda," wrote Hensley. "The Ravens can make sure they'll have one of the NFL's best offensive linemen for the next four to five years, and Yanda can double what he would earn this year."
Hensley surmised the Ravens could offer Yanda a four-year extension worth $30 million, giving him an average of $7.5 million that's about on par with the average of the top five guards, with a $12 million signing bonus that would double what Yanda is set to make this season. That would reduce Yanda's salary-cap number by $2 million.
Cornerback Taken Off Ravens Draft Board?
Bisciotti said the Ravens have taken domestic violence more into account while scouting prospects, confirming that "it's changing* *our draft board, and it certainly is going to change the free agents that we're looking at."
Where do DUI's fall on that list?
"I think that we were pretty stupid not to recognize domestic violence as a category by itself," Bisciotti said. "No other infractions – failed drug tests, bar fights or DUIs – nothing to me should rise to that level."
Cornerback Victor Hampton and running back Bernard Pierce were both arrested for drinking and driving this offseason. Both were quickly released by the team.
Now a top prospect the Ravens could have been interested in, Florida State cornerback P.J. Williams, was arrested for a DUI early Friday morning near Florida State's campus.
"For Williams to be charged with DUI, with the draft less than four weeks away, raises concerns the Ravens may not want to deal with," wrote CSN Baltimore's Clifton Brown.
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