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Ravens Won’t Allow Emotion to Influence Flacco Extension

Lombardi's Way Ravens Won’t Allow Emotion to Influence Flacco Extension

Posted in Lombardi's Way
44+ Comments Jerry B says Most of the "cap" casualties appear to be on the defensive side of the ball. And, with most of the rule changes favoring the offense, keeping that unit in tact
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Pay me now or pay me later!

With Joe Flacco the Ravens chose to pay later and now they will REALLY have to pay.

The question is, “How much?”

Flacco’s agent Joe Linta has traveled a few laps around the radio dial and he’s been pounding his chest and stomping his feet to give credence to his belief that the Ravens quarterback should be the highest paid player in the game.

Seriously Joe, I’d like to party with you!

The notion of Flacco sitting atop the NFL’s salary leaderboard is laughable. Here’s a quarterback who up until his hot streak that kicked in on December 23, 2012, struggled with consistency and didn’t rank statistically in the top third of the league’s starting signal callers.

Flacco has never made a Pro Bowl (2/3 of the vote for which comes from players and coaches), he’s never thrown for 4,000 yards in a season and he’s topped out at 25 scoring throws in a single campaign.

Yet he has won in the playoffs and on the road where he holds the NFL’s all-time record for postseason wins.

But is that enough to justify Linta’s wish upon a star?

Did he go to Disneyworld with Flacco?

It’s easy for some to say, “Pay the man!” when they don’t have to stroke that check. They don’t have to answer to critics if Flacco fails to perform to the level of such an outrageous contract – one that may force the Ravens to part ways with some productive veterans (Anquan Boldin, Jacoby Jones, Vonta Leach, Bryant McKinnie) or fall short of the asking price for their shooting stars (Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger).

It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion and carried away by the intoxicating high of a Super Bowl win. It’s easy to support the demands of a quarterback whose smoking hot hand guided the Ravens to their second Super Bowl title.

And it’s easy to mess up the entire salary structure of the team too!

Some quarterbacks are special. They can consistently carry a team. They can cover the blemishes of a bad offensive line or a bad running game or a bad defense. Aaron Rodgers has amazing footwork and pocket presence and has the skillset to offset the Packers’ offensive line deficiencies.

Tom Brady can work with journeymen running backs by making the quick, short passing attack an extension of the running game.

Peyton Manning and Drew Brees can rack up points, forcing opposing offenses to become one-dimensional, thus making it easier for their respective defenses.

Can Joe Flacco be a player like any of these elite QB’s?

His body of work suggests the answer is a resounding “No!”

Sure that five game stretch at the end to win The Lombardi was incredibly impressive and if that is indicative of what we can expect going forward, then go ahead and spout out the “E” word.

But would you be willing to stroke that check, roll the dice for $100M+?

And let’s keep in mind that if the Ravens do that, they might not be able to bring back Anquan Boldin or Jacoby Jones. They may no longer be able to afford Bryant McKinnie whose reinsertion in the starting lineup improved three offensive line positions (LT, LG & RT).

Would Flacco perform as well without those guys in the mix?

The emotion, the wonderful afterglow of being crowned World Champions can’t sway sound decision making. And fortunately for Ravens fans it sounds like that the Ravens front office and ownership will avoid that temptation.

“We are not going to get caught up in the moment and do things to our salary cap and make decisions in the euphoria of winning that could hurt us in 2014 and 2015, like we did in 2001”, said Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.

“Every single veteran was restructured, I think, so that every single veteran could stay, and then we ended up losing so many people the next year [in 2002]. We don’t want to do that. You have to make sure that the excitement of the day doesn’t cloud what we promise to build, and that was a consistent winner.”

So what will the final number be?

We’ll find out over the next couple of months.

Ozzie Newsome has been quick to point out that they’ve successfully negotiated lucrative long-term deals with players like Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Haloti Ngata. Relatively speaking, those deals were tune-ups for the fat lady.

And in the case of the Ravens that “fat lady” is Joe Flacco.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. Follow Tony on Twitter @RussellStReport. More from Tony Lombardi
42 comments
mystery man
mystery man

The real reason the Ravens will try to under cut Joe is Ozzie misplayed the three contracts he is gloating about,,,,,these three contracts have the Ravens strapped to them and they didn't even produce in the super bowl run byt Joe did and did it well,,,,,,pay the man, Tony you are wrong brother.............

richieG
richieG

Let's face it - Flacco has the Raves over a barrel...res ipsa loqutar! The team will suffer re cap rules enacted to do just that - shift the balance of power. That being said, does Flacco sound greedy or is it just me?!? And, speaking of his inconsistiencies, how many points did the Raves score in the 1st half of the NE game; the 2nd half of the Vince-bowl? Yup, his playoffs were great but, for me, school's out until he plays a full season under JC - and that still may not result in the predicted continuation of his playoff performance if McKinnie is a cap-casualty & Oher is re-instated as LT!!!

Jerry B
Jerry B

Gotta disagree with you on this one, Tony! Flacco has done more the past five years than most, if not all, of the QB's you're comparing him to. And, arguably, with less surrounding talent than his contemporaries. Add to that the fact that he played in an offense characterized by football analysists as, "inconsistent", "dysfunctional", "out-of-sync", "predictable", etc. and, of course, his play would obviously be adversely affected at times. But, make no mistake that the Ravens WOULD NOT have won the Super Bowl or appeared in the playoffs for 5 straight years without him! In fact, but for Lee Evans' drop of a perfectly thrown"winning" TD pass in last years' AFC championship game, he'd have taken them to back-to-back Super Bowls! Flacco has reached the pinnacle of his profession and desrves to be paid accordingly. as for salary cap issues, the Ravens will find a way to pay him his WORTH just as the Saints did with Brees, the Packers with Rodgers, the Patriots with Brady, the Colts/Broncos with Manning, etc! He's a "franchise QB" in every sense of the phrase and EARNED his big contract. How many playoffs would Kyle Boller have taken them to..............

Matthew
Matthew

What a great article to ponder. I, too, have been rolling the question of how much Joe Flacco is really worth around in my head for the last couple of months. I was ecstatic when the Ravens released Cam and hoped that it would give us a better picture of who Joe really is and what he can accomplish. He had an amazing run during the playoffs and certainly increased his value in the eyes of the fans. However, his inconsistency even prior to Cam's departure is a very valid concern. Joe's agent, Linta, likes to argue Joe's win/loss record as justification for his top dollar demands. Any fan who has paid attention during that stretch realizes that there were games that Joe took charge and sealed the victory and others where the team pulled together and carried the day. I cannot believe that Joe deserves to be the highest paid QB in the NFL, particularly when that type of contract would come at a significant cost to the team as a whole. If that means that Joe does not receive the exclusive tag and is able to test the market, I'm willing to take that chance. Personally, I'd rather see an intelligent Joe Flacco make the mature decision that there's room in the middle to balance his contract wishes with the good of the team so that he can remain a Raven for the remainder of what looks to be a very promising career. Ultimately, I've reserved myself to the fact that I have no pull in the matter and thus my opinion is irrelevant. All I can do is that which every Ravens fan has become used to and continue to rely upon, whatever decision is made regarding Joe's new contract: In Oz, I trust.

Bill
Bill

So, let's talk statistics. If you project Joe's stats from the playoffs over a 16 game season, he throws for 4,560 yards with 44 TDs, 0 Ints, 9.05 YPA. That is against the better teams in games played at a higher intensity level. Absurd. The only QB who should be paid more on a long term deal (taking into consideration past performance, talent, age, etc.) right now is Aaron Rodgers. Brees, Brady and Petyon are past their primes. You have to look at their contracts in comparison to their age. There is no way you could choose any of them over Flacco for the next 5-7 years. The fact of the matter is that the Ravens have almost no chance of winning the Super Bowl over the next 5-7 years without Flacco. They are now an offense driven team. The Ravens D is not good enough to carry the team. They need a stud QB or they will be mediocre. Alex Smith or Matt Flynn (still don't understand why he is even in the conversation) are game managers. It is highly unlikely the Ravens can draft a QB as good as Flacco. The Ravens should work hard to get a fair contract with Flacco, but make no mistake about it that the Ravens will give him a contract equal to, or bigger than, the other top QBs in the NFL. Please be nice, Joe.

Josh
Josh

How can you say the answer is a "resounding no!!" when asked if Flacco can carry this team? He essentially did that the entire postseason, which netted us a second Lombardi trophy. We have made the playoffs every year, and now we're at the top of the mountain. Before Flacco arrived, we were an inconsistent team that could not sustain any type of success. With Flacco, we should compete just about year for a championship. No, I do not want us to vastly overpay that would prevent us from keeping some of our other free agents, but Joe deserves to be a top paid QB in this league now that he has a SB MVP on his resume. You, like everyone else, gets caught up on statistics. Joe wins...plain and simple. And I think you can make the case he should have made a Pro Bowl by now over the likes of Vince Young, Andy Dalton, Matt Cassell, and DAVID GARRARD!. Oh, and by the way...he has been a starter for as long as Rodgers, and has more postseason wins and the same number of rings/SB MVPs. He wins...pay the man!

Chad
Chad

TL, I agree with you sample size is too small and without all of that talent around Smoking Joe is he worth 100+ million? I love Flacco and very happy with what he has done considering our QB's of the past but I owuld caution everyone to not get enamoured with Flacco simply because he is the best we have ever had. Our QB baseline is very poor to benchmark against. Fair deal is all I'm asking for. 6YR 84M Deal with 55M upfront. Too many QB's are coming into the league and making impacts to their teams. It is not like the old days when the QB had to adjust to the ofensive system but rather the coaching has changed where the coach is now willing to change the offense to fit the QB's strengths. 100+M way too much money for almost anyone especially an above average QB. Stats don't lie look at his career stats before you start spouting off I'm a Flacco hater. GO RAVENS!

Fran the Fan
Fran the Fan

Let me piggy back on this conversation. II'm not a prognosticator by any means, but I'm proud to say that I've been beating the fire Cam drum for years in my blogs for this web site. n the middle of the 2011 season I had a guy from out of town (with no axe to grind, either way) say to me after a particularly bad Flacco outing: "You know, Flacco's not your boy. You need another QB." My reply was that I would take his statement "under advisement" as long as Cam Cameron was the O.C. Right after the SB I ran into my aquaintance again and reminded him of our earlier talk and he was qucik to agree that the firing of Cam and the hiring of Caldwell made all the difference. The only problem is that we have a pretty small sample size to go on - from the first Denver game forward. You can throw out the first Broncos game and the Bengals game where Joe played one series. So we're talking about 6 games for Bisciotti and Newsome to make a decision that might cost the organization a 1 with 8 zeros behind it. (easy for me to say, for sure) So for all the reasons I wrote in Flacco Leaving the Ravens is Pure Science Fiction, I still say do it. Bite the bullet, secure the position, and move on. We're looking at the future of the franchise here.

Patty
Patty

I strongly feel that Joe needs that line to protect him, without it he is not accurate when he has to rush a play. With that said.. I think he needs to think "TEAM" not "Me". There is no Joe without the Team in my opinion. I've see that most of the season. When he's protected and has time, he's spot on.. but when he's not protected.. he far from performing at top $$$. I love Joe, I'd hate to see him leave, but again, without some of the key players protecting him, and good receivers to catch that ball, he will not be a top perfomer. "TEAM"!!!

Dot Volz
Dot Volz

Joe has been underrated for some time.. Can't you remember the QB's we had in the past. So many int'sgeez Joe doesn't try and run, hardly ever. Sign of a good QB. He makes amazing throws with the defence coming down on him. I don't know what he should make, but....... i don't want anyone else. Besides his talent, hes not a showboater, hes humble... I mean Tom brady who we just beat just built himself a 70 millione dollar home....Maybe like movie stars we all can think they get too much, but thats the way it is. I'm not a kid, i can remember when Johnny U only made bout $40,000 a year more than me. Times are diff, Joe is great elite..The best in my book

Wiley
Wiley

I think Flacco truly turned the corner when two things happended: Caldwell replaced Cameron and McKinnie moved Oher to the right side. With those two moves, Flacco was able to finally soar to the top of the list. Truth is Flacco was inconsistent for many years...but this was 90% due to Cameron calling plays. Think about it. How many times did we start out a game solid and then all of a sudden look terrible. It was because Cameron never made adjustments. Therefore defenses would simply alter their game plan and stop us. Makes sense right? Well how can a quarteback succeed in that position? Secondly, when a quarteback doesn't have protection they will NEVER be successful. Just ask David Carr. With time and adjusted play calling, Flacco showed us his true capabilites. Absolutely, 100% elite. (I truly hate that word but apparently it is what justifies a big contract). Anyways, he will shine for years to come with this formula. Pay the man like the top guys and he will prove us it was a wise investment.

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

I guess we'll just have to file that away and see.

Jerry B
Jerry B

Notwithstanding the "legalese", I agree that the "thing speaks for itself"! That's why he's going to be paid TOP DOLLAR! Not because he's greedy, but because he's getting paid the old fashioned way by......EARNING IT! Greedy? Hey, the guy is 28 years old, at the pinnacle of his career and, if not now.........WHEN?! See my comments re the Saints, Packers, Patriots, Colts/Broncos ALL of whom had to pay their "franchise QB's" top dollar and none of whom have suffered for it! I rest my case...........

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

Less talent? Really? You might want to look at those rosters again for Brady's, Brees', Rodgers' and Manning's teams. He's good, he's just not in their league IMO.

Matthew
Matthew

Indeed, the "what could have been" due to Evans' drop continues to haunt me as a fan, even after the Super Bowl victory this year. I think we would've beaten the Giants in SB46. We seem to have their number in a similar fashion to how they always seem to get the better of the Patriots. We had a very healthy team, so I don't see it as likely that we lose that game. Thus, we'd have had back-to-back Lombardis (assuming the results from 46 don't affect this season's results). It gives me chills and regrets and fuels my animosity toward Evans and Cundiff.

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

Josh, You don't think that contract negotiations involve statistics? The Ravens will point to the slightly above average numbers to state their case. Joe Linta will point to the playoff wins, SB and SB MVP. And while I'd agree that those are the most important stats, are those all on Joe? Can you really say Joe has consistently performed at an elite level? Is he elite? He certainly had an elite postseason but is that sampling size big enough to extend an elite contract? I will say the noose around Joe's neck could have been Cam Cameron. It could have been a bad offensive line. It could have been both. But like I said, based on his body of work there is nothing that suggests he can consistently perform on the level of Rodgers, Brees, Manning or Brady and therefore, there's danger in this big contract for Joe particularly if it costs him a chunk of his supporting cast.

Chad
Chad

Pro Bowl is a sham and mostly is a popularity contest. Jeff Satruday made the Pro Bowl again and was benched halfway through the season in favor for another guy. All Pro is where Flacco is trying to benchmark himself against. Brees, Brady, Rogers etc. Is he that guy? He does win but 20M is way too much coin to be giving anyone much less someone not even close to those other guys level. You are correct about him winning but this is a team sport and the best team wins. I know you judge QB's by wins and SB's, but he just is not a 20M guy. IMHO. You do make valid points and I'm gald I do not have to make this decision.

Derek Arnold
Derek Arnold

You make fair points. However, when looking at his career numbers (never 30 TDs, etc), I still say the limiting factor was CAM. So, that's not fair. I look at the small sample size of Caldwell as a more likely "real Joe." Again, I'm not signing the check. In Oz we trust.

Chad
Chad

Fran the Fan, Glad you are nto negotiating the deal. 1 with 9 zero's? 1,000,000,000 that is a little bit of an overpay I would say. 1 BILLION DOLLARS!

Jimmypowder
Jimmypowder

Put Brady or Manning behind the line we had early in the season and they would have been out for the season with an injury.

Shaun
Shaun

I agree with Patty. Joe is a good QB but he is only as good as his team. As good as he has been he does not carry the team as some other quarterbacks do. I love my Ravens and would hate to see him leave but I do not feel as though he should be the highest paid player.

Jimmypowder
Jimmypowder

I agree . Sadly,Caldwell will ultimately end up with a head coaching job soon. We will have to in the near future replace McKinnie as well due to his age. We better find some damn good replacements in a couple of years.

Lovitha Shelton
Lovitha Shelton

I agree that Mr. Flacco has brought us through and helped in winning the Superbowl. I agree that the changes made in the staff and lineup produced great results. However, Mr. Flacco's inconsistencies have been true to form. My husband and I have discussed, before televised games, whether the 'lights' or the 'cameras' would become an albatross around Mr. Flacco's neck for the game. I believe that the salary discussions are moot and Flacco's agent needs to "sat down" (in my Madea voice) and not expect his cut from Mr. Flacco's salary boost. When Mr. Flacco gets the true understanding of the criteria of an elite quarterback, then he can make his case. Until then, I believe that Cam is good enough to step up and become the "elite" everyone is looking for if it comes to that...

Derek Arnold
Derek Arnold

I'm with you, Wiley. We had the "is it Cam or Joe" argument for years. Well, it's pretty obvious that it was Cam. If the team had jettisoned him years ago, like they should have, they'd have known what they had with Flacco much sooner, and he'd likely have already signed a (less lucrative) contract extension. Just one final way for Cam to screw over the team on his way out the door.

mystery man
mystery man

Your still a good man ,,,,,,,,,,,and provide such great 'food for thought' , I'm hungry all the time,,,,,, thank you

Jerry B
Jerry B

Tony: until the arrival of Boldin, Pitta and Tory Smith,none of whom is currently All Pro or even Pro Bowl caliber, Flacco's receiving corps was abysmal, with the possible exception of Derrick Mason. In fact, I'm hard pressed to even recall their names! Heap was nearing the end of his career and was primarily used to block, Mark Clayton was a "bust" and I really don't remember the others, who were "journeymen" at best! So, yes, he has accomplished more with less than his competitors in my opinion.......

Jimmypowder
Jimmypowder

Good lord,join Preston! Oh ,even Preston converted!LOL . Get over it bro.Flacco is elite. Is he slightly under Brady ,Manning and Brees,yes But slightly .And hes been in the league for only 5 years .Give any QB a bad oline and they will not perform well .Give them a bad play caller and they will not perform well .Get over it bro. Admit you made a mistake with your Flacco bashing.

Josh
Josh

I agreed with Ozzie said that he has to look at Joe's "entire body of work" during the upcoming contract negotiations. And I am so sick of the word "elite" that I can't see straight. I have heard that you need a ring to be considered elite. Well, Joe has one now. Romo has stats. Stafford has stats. Hell, Cam Newton has decent stats. But Joe has proven himself a winner when it matters the most: the postseason. I agree his stats are subpar to the "elite" QBs in the league, but even you just acknowledged that Joe might have a had a "noose" around his neck with Cameron, whom if you held a gun to his head would probably say that he simply didn't trust Flacco. Caldwell obviously did, and you saw the result of that trust. I know one thing: Brees and Rivers got better when Cameron left them, and I think we could see the same with Flacco. This year's postseason could be a true harbinger of that.

Josh
Josh

I agree that it would be nice for him to be an All Pro or receive some kind of postseason accolade. But, I do think he has been largely underappreciated in his career because we have become so hung up on statistics over simply winning games. Joe deserves top tier money, no question about it. And if you want to talk about statistics, his stats look like they are on the upswing now that Cameron is out of the picture. He threw HALF of his season's total of TDs in this year's postseason...half.

Chad
Chad

100% agreed. I hope the Flacco we saw the last 6 games with JC is the real Joe Flacco. I still would not reach to far pass the 14M a year but give him more money upfront that Brees. That is win-win for both sides. Everyone wants money upfront.

Chad
Chad

Yes I can add but just can't read apparently. Oh yeah Whorld Champs!

Wiley
Wiley

It makes you wonder how many more rings we could have...Although, I have to say, without the heartache of the last few years, this year wouldn't have been as precious as it was.

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

I'll say this, that Cameron has held back Joe's progression as a QB if the last 5 starts are signs of things to come. The same can be said for the talent around Joe. But overpaying Joe could leave the Ravens depleted of that complementary talent. We might then have to reset our expectations and prepare for a season or two of adjustment before being a serious contender again.

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

There's no bashing going on. I just hope that the Ravens employ their "right player, right price" credo with Joe. Joe has developed into a very good quarterback and it will be interesting to see if he continues his ascent. But let's face it, history suggests that he hasn't consistently performed as a Top 10 QB. Is he that now? Yes. Can he consistently be among the Top 10?Top 5? We'll see. If he doesn't paying him as a Top 5 QB will be a noose around the team's neck for 2 seasons because the cap is relatively flat. Ray Lewis and Suggs were overpaid? Seriously? Thankfully fans intoxicated by Joe's last 5 games aren't making contract decisions.

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

And I hope you are right! But all that said, the Ravens can't get carried away in the moment and make him the highest paid player. It would just throw everything out of whack IMO.

Matt
Matt

If you haven't read the news over the last week or so, Joe and his agent turned down $16Mill a year before the beginning of the season. C'mon, he is waiting to average $20Mil a year. The best we can hope for is that he takes between $18Mil and $19Mil as an average per season and that they give him a big signing bonus and then backload the fifth and sixth year. Something like $48Mil on a Signing Bonus over 6 years and then accelerating salaries of $1Mil next year, 3Mil the following, then a huge raise (when the cap goes up in 2015) to $12Mil/$14Mil/$16Mil and $18Mil. we then get to decide whether he gets the last two years of the contract or not. That is a total of $108 Mil over six years and is cap friendly for the first two years.

Jerry B
Jerry B

Most of the "cap" casualties appear to be on the defensive side of the ball. And, with most of the rule changes favoring the offense, keeping that unit in tact is a priority, which starts with QB! That being said, nobody does it better than Ozzie Newsome, who will find a way to pay Flacco what he is WORTH and keep the team competitive. By the way, I'm not suggesting that defense isn't importrant any longer, just that championships are now won with prolific offenses wheras in the past, they were won with defense!

mystery man
mystery man

Suggs and Knata are overpaid , you have to know your people and Ozzie didn't take 'injury prone' into account , he didn't use 'right player=right price' on these tow players and it's bitting him in the butt right now , big time..........joe contributed in the playoffs to elite levels , did Knata and Suggs , no way......... These two guys are making so much money other players will have to go , it is not Joe's contract but Ozzie will blame it on him but we know these other contracts are too big and should be reworked , if possible..... ..

mystery man
mystery man

Tony , this time you are all wet,,,,,,,,,,,this is the first year the Ravens actually built aroud Joe , until this year they only toyed with it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you quoted Ozzie saying he has proven record negotiating big contracts with the big three (all defense) and all three were vastly over paid based on this recent playoff run,,,,,,,,,,,,Joe stepped up but the big three contract guys didn't , hurt or not , they didn't earn or justify their large contract amounts and this is the real reason the Ravens will undercut Joe,,,,,,,get real with it Tony,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Josh
Josh

I think it's pretty clear the front office learned from their mistake of 2001 to not "throw everything out of whack." Ozzie and Co. know what they are doing.

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