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Steve Bisciotti's Perspective On Joe Flacco's New Deal


The last time the Ravens went to the negotiating table with Joe Flacco in 2012, Steve Bisciotti knew that the franchise quarterback would come "bang on my desk" to get a massive contract.

Flacco was ready to cash in three years ago after winning Super Bowl XLVII, and he ended up with a back-loaded $120 million deal that was the richest in NFL history.

Things were a little different this time.

The directive from Bisciotti entering this year's negotiations was to reach an agreement that would truly guarantee Flacco's place in Baltimore long-term, and they worked out a three-year extension earlier this month to keep their quarterback through 2022.

"I said to Ozzie [Newsome], I don't want to be in this same position, so if you can get a deal done, don't backload it so we're addressing this three years later," Bisciotti said. "He's 30 years old, we know he's our guy. Make it a real six-year deal."

The reason the Ravens and Flacco had to re-negotiate just midway through the deal is because the initial contract was structured in a way that Flacco's cap hit was marginal the first three years. The cap hit then jumped to $28 million this year, which would have limited the money the Ravens had to spend elsewhere.

In reaching a new deal, the Ravens cleared up about $6 million in cap room for this season, and the new contract carries balanced cap hits of about $22 million over the next six years. The move gave Newsome money to spend on players like Eric Weddle, Benjamin Watson and Mike Wallace, but the cap savings are just part of the equation to Bisciotti.

"I'm just excited to have him for what I know is six years," Bisciotti said. "To me, [cap savings] was just gravy, but I wasn't as excited about the cap savings as I was about a real six-year deal for Joe."

The Ravens said numerous times going into this offseason that they didn't have to re-work Flacco's contract. Yes, his salary cap number was set to balloon to $28 million this year. And yes, the Ravens wanted to create cap room.

But the Ravens weren't just making a negotiating ploy by saying they had a gameplan to build a roster with Flacco playing at that inflated number.

"I can assure you there was not an ounce of posturing," Bisciotti said. "Acrimonious negotiations are tough anyway, but with your leader, with your quarterback, you just don't want to be there. It's just an uncomfortable position to be in."

The Ravens gave Flacco the extension while in the midst of recovering from a torn ACL, the first serious injury of his career. The investment is a clear sign that they expect him to return as one of the game's premier quarterbacks, and they will continue to build the team around him as they look to bounce back from last year's 5-11 season.

"When Joe is back, I'm pretty confident," Bisciotti said.

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