So the Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco have finally come to terms. The news is good albeit expensive.
According to Jay Glazer from FoxSports.com the deal is for six years and $120.6 million and will be signed on Monday. If signed the deal will eclipse the 5-year, $100 million deal that Drew Brees agreed to in 2012 and make Flacco the highest paid player in the NFL.
Let’s allow that to marinate…
Joe Flacco, the highest paid player in the NFL.
Wow, the same guy whom if it were up to some fans would be on the bench behind Tyrod Taylor. What a difference a 5 game stretch can make.
What have you done for me lately…
However, the key for the Ravens lies in the structure of the new deal.
Rumors have surfaced that when the ink dries on March 4 Joe’s new contract will include $60M in guarantees. While that seems a bit steep if true, how the guaranteed money is distributed over the life of the contract is key to understanding the flexibility (or lack thereof) that the Ravens have to sign other key free agents of their own.
All that said the timing of this deal is outstanding!
The Ravens now have nearly 11 days to work potential new deals before the new NFL year and free agency kick off. They will turn their collective attention towards Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Ed Reed and Bryant McKinnie as well as possible extensions for Anquan Boldin and Jacoby Jones.
The deal also circumvents any potential bad blood between the two sides that could have created an uncomfortable undercurrent going forward. If tagged Flacco may have chosen to not attend mini-camps and that would impede the progression of his relationship with offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell who more than likely will give the team’s offensive playbook a fresh look.
With such concerns removed from the equation, the Flacco signing will set the Ravens offseason in motion. Fans can now sit back, relax and watch Ozzie & Company do their thing as the pieces for the 2013 season – the one during which the Ravens will be referred to as “the defending Super Bowl Champions”, fall into place.
Congrats Joe and congrats Ravens!