While the rest of the country debated whether Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was elite or not, Flacco’s agent and the Ravens tried to establish his worth.
In March, an agreement was reached and Flacco signed a six-year, $120 million contract ($52 million guaranteed) that made Flacco the highest paid player in NFL history. Even though Flacco’s agent Joe Linta was happy to receive the commission, he said the Ravens were “dumb” during negotiations last year.
“I’ve never in my life seen a dumber move,” Linta told USA Today. “I guess people can say, ‘Well Joe was dumb, too’ It could have been (dumb) God forbid, if he got hurt.”
Linta revealed that the major dispute between he and the Ravens was over an extra $1 million he was asking in the final year of Flacco’s contract.
“One million six years from now, in the base salary non-guaranteed money, and they walked away,” Linta said, referring to the Ravens front office. “It cost them $35 million. I so have no sympathy. None.”
Owner Steve Bisciotti was forced to open his check book after Flacco was named Super Bowl MVP, capping an impressive playoff run in which he passed for 11 touchdowns with zero interceptions.
“$1 million to Steve Bisciotti six year from now? That’s like 100 buck for you or me today,” Linta said, questioning Bisciotti’s willingness to meet his previous terms. As of March, Bisciotti’s net worth was $1.8 billion according to the popular financial publication, Forbes.
Flacco and Linta ended up technically winning their argument with the Ravens but all parties involved got what they wanted in the end. Paying for Flacco will financially handicap the franchise down the road to some extent, but the Ravens ended up getting a franchise Super Bowl-winning quarterback that most teams would love to have. Winning their second Lombardi trophy in franchise history was icing on the cake.
This won’t be the last negotiation the Ravens will have to deal with Linta on. Both parties have already came to an agreement on rookie fullback/tight end Kyle Juszczyk and in a few years may have to address second-year center Gino Gradkowski’s contract status. That will depend on if Gradkowski can win the starting center spot, a position vacated by a former client of Linta, Matt Birk, who retired following the Super Bowl.