Linta’s “Dumb” Talk Could Signal Problems for Flacco and the Ravens

Joe Linta 600

If a realtor had disparaging things to say about you AFTER selling you a new home, would you do business with him or her again?

If you purchased a new car and then overheard the salesperson saying how he or she hosed you by selling the highly profitable extended warranty that you really didn’t need, would you recommend that dealership?

If word got back to you that your girlfriend was only seeing you because you had a nice car, a big bank account and a vacation home would you still want to be with her?

Now, imagine you are Ozzie Newsome and Steve Bisciotti. Your star quarterback’s agent Joe Linta, with whom you just engineered a $120.6M contract after a lengthy negotiating process that made Flacco (at the time) the highest paid player in league history, throws you under the bus.

Linta, who is not very experienced with high-profile free agents, had this to say about his discussions with the Ravens.

“[The dispute was about] $1 million six years from now, in the base salary non-guaranteed money, and they walked away. It cost them $35 million. So I have no sympathy. None.”

And then Linta followed up with this bombshell.

“I’ve never in my life seen a dumber move. I guess people can say, ‘Well, Joe was dumb, too.’ It could have been (dumb), God forbid, if he got hurt. But $1 million to Steve Bisciotti six years from now? That’s like 100 bucks for you or me today.”

Talk about cutting off the hand that feeds you.

If I’m a player who wants to join the Ravens organization, right about now Linta is the last agent I’d be looking to hire.

Despite what sounds like some sloppy happy hour banter in a local pub or at best less than professional behavior from Flacco’s agent, the most disturbing part and perhaps most overlooked part of Linta’s “dumb” soliloquy delivered to USA Today is this:

“I’m not apologetic for the fact this is really a three-year deal, there’s no way they can afford $29 million a couple of years from now,” Linta said. “I’m not apologetic. They chose to walk away.”

So it sounds like the Ravens will have a big problem three years from now if Linta’s attitude today is any indication AND Flacco has 3 very good seasons between now and the $29 million day of reckoning.

If the Ravens aren’t “dumb” (and they’re not), they may be wise to invest a quality pick or two over the next couple of drafts in a quarterback who one day could actually push Flacco.

Clearly such a player isn’t on the roster today.

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of and 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...more

23 Raves on “Linta’s “Dumb” Talk Could Signal Problems for Flacco and the Ravens

  1. Paul Cascio on said:

    I was wondering when someone was going to write about this. Linta is a small-timer who got lucky when Flacco played better in the post season than he did for the first 16 games, or the Ravens may have let him test the waters. He also exposed his client to the risk of an injury while having an $85M offer on the table.

    Dissing the Ravens was foolish, childish and could have consequences down the road. None of the games’s top agents would have done what he did.

    • paulie on said:

      Only real problem with your reasoning here is that it was
      Flacco’s decision not to negotiate during the season, not
      Linta’s. And the net net on that decision was around plus
      $37 M. The Ravens rolled the dice over $1 M in the sixth
      year and lost. Now you want to second guess everyone.

  2. annette on said:

    Flacco after his contract expires may or may not be a Raven, but will most likely continue to play either way.
    Mr Linta on the other hand, better hope so…I doubt there will be a line at his door for representation.

  3. paulie on said:

    I think you are really over reaching on this one Tony.
    After years of dealing with Scott Boras who is at best
    a professional liar and media provocateur, Joe Linta
    isn’t even a speed bump. If Joe Flacco isn’t a Raven
    in three years it will be because Jerry Jones or Snyder
    is willing to pay him way too much money to QB yet
    another one of their losing teams. Ozzie and the FO
    are consummate professionals and what they see in
    Joe Linta is a tough but straight forward and honest
    agent. They can work with that, which for them is all
    that really matters.

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      You probably left out a few adjectives regarding what the Ravens think about Linta now. And I’m curious, who is the last Scott Boras client in the NFL?

      • ClericBlackDave on said:

        Please. What they think doesn’t matter. They are stuck with and need Flacco until he plays his way out of town.

        Linta / an Agents’ job is to get their client the correct value. Linta’s not paid to make friends with Ozzie.

        Ozzie torpedoed the deal that Linta agreed upon with Moriarity. It was a bad move by Ozzie, and Linta is just calling a spade a spade here.

        I know its a slow offseason, and you’ve had to go native Tony as a member of the media now, but this is truly a reach.

        I can’t wait for the preseason so the NFL soap opera media machine has something real to talk about.

        • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

          True they don’t need to be friends but he should be respectful if he’d like to develop a reputation as a professional players’ agent. What he said more than anything the Ravens did was dumb. It should be interesting in 3 years.

          • paulie on said:

            Please, this is getting so blown out of proportion you would think it’s a House hearing on Benghazi. Linta didn’t call Ozzie or anybody else in the FO ‘dumb’. He didn’t say the Ravens were mismanaged. He said they pulled a boner on this ONE deal. They could have had their franchise Qb for $37 M cheaper and for six years instead of three. What would you call that?

          • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

            If anyone really believes that the meter moved $37M because of those last 5 games of the season hasn’t been paying attention. I won’t call YOU “dumb” just like Linta didn’t call Ozzie dumb…but believing this is.

          • paulie on said:

            Tony, you don’t think the meter moved $37M ?
            All accounts say that the deal Ozzie torpedoed was for $85 M and what was signed was for $120 M. That’s $35 M right there . . .

        • Mill on said:

          That doesn’t excuse his behavior. There are million better ways to answer whatever question he was asked. My mother always says “sometimes it is not what you say but how you say it”. He chose a downright disrespectful and unprofessional way to express the thought that the Ravens gambled by walking away and got burned financially.

          Saying something along the lines of “Joe gambled on himself and won” or “the Ravens took a big risk by walking away and it worked in Joe’s favor”, gets the exact same point across without making him sound like a jerk.

          I said it before and I will say it again. Those comments make it clear that he took the negotiations personal. Like Ozzie and co. hurt his ego by walking away.

  4. JerryB on said:

    Couldn’t agree more, Tony! This guy sounds like a rank amateur whose ego has been bruised. One has to wonder whose best interest he has at heart, Flacco’s or…..his?! What’s really involved here is just how inexperienced this guy is compared to Newsome and Bisciotti, both of whom have been at it longer that Linta and have enjoyed more than just a modicum of…..success!

  5. Mr. Oldman on said:

    Joe needs to comment on this, one way or the other. Either back him or rebuke him. If he doesn’t, and Linta stays, it could come back to bite him these next three years.

  6. David on said:

    This is not a big deal. This is the off-season so everyone is looking for a story. Joe will be a Raven for six years. You can not just cut Flacco after three years with a contract like this. They will do an extension or restructure. Also, gambling is dumb because you have a high risk and high reward whenever you gamble.

  7. Josh on said:

    Linta said today on a radio show that he stated these very words personally to the Ravens’ front office. I agree that he is a blowhard and a second-tier agent, but I doubt this affects anything with the organization. The Ravens seem like a thick-skinned entity to allow something like this affect any future plans with their franchise quarterback, something which does not come around very often.

  8. PurpRain on said:

    The guy is obviously inexperienced and cannot keep his mouth shut. He just destroyed any relationship he had with the Raven’s front office. What a MORON. This was basically trash talking with an opponent after winning the game and that is not the way Joe acts or wants to be known. Linta will either apologize and grovel for forgiveness publicly, or Joe will let him go. You never do what Linta did. And then to release the comments to the same despicable organization (SI) who waited until a week before the super bowl to release a story about Ray and steroids. I won’t even look at SI anymore. Even the swimsuit addition–ok maybe look at the swimsuit addition, but will never ever buy one.

  9. RichieG on said:

    Hey TL,
    What was the catalyst for Linta going RobbyIrsay…the timing, among other things, makes no sense?!? And yet, IF what Linta says re the contract impasse is true, it does seem as if the Raves could have easily resolved the issue. Based on a “kicker-on-liquor” comment though, I’m betting Linta is gilding his lily!
    Since the negotiations ended before the season began, I’m surmising that Oz did not anticipate, at that point, the defensive decline and eventual need for a defensive purge and, ergo, was trying to keep money for Ellerbee&Kruger available – you think?
    All that being said, “faxgate” was T H E dumbest FO move in recent memory.
    RichieG in Dallas

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