Non-Exclusive is The Way to go if Ravens Play “Tag” With Flacco

Flacco Media Day

Hopefully the Ravens and Joe Flacco successfully structure a new long-term deal that is fair.

But what exactly is fair?

A fair deal exists when both sides believe they walked away from the negotiating table leaving something on it. That suggests compromise with the result usually being the greatest good for the greatest number.

But what if the numbers are on opposite ends of the franchise quarterback wage scale spectrum? A compromise then might be about as realistic as a Steelers fan winning a spelling bee.

Then, the number becomes that of the franchise tag.

But which type of franchise tag will the Ravens choose for Flacco if an eleventh hour deal isn’t reached on March 4?

Door No. 1: The Exclusive Franchise Tag

The exclusive tag is a one-year contract that is the average of the top five QB salaries for this year. This average will be set at the end of the restricted free agent signing period on April 19th.  The price for the exclusive Franchise Tag is expected to be over $20M. This tag also prohibits any team from negotiating with Flacco.

Door No. 2: The Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag

The non-exclusive Tag is a one-year contract that is the average of the top five players at the position over the prior five years.  For 2013, the non-exclusive Tag for Quarterbacks has tentatively been set at $14.6M. Other teams are free to negotiate with Flacco but the Ravens retain the right to match any offer. If they choose not to match, the Ravens receive the signing team’s No. 1 draft pick for the next two years.

Pick Door No. 2.

Ozzie needs to allow the market to set the price for Flacco. Why bid against yourself? Besides the Ravens are too close to Flacco, perhaps even too intoxicated by the lure of the Super Bowl XLVII MVP.

Will the market pay for the Flacco from his last 5 starts or his previous 88 starts when his QB Rating hovered in the mid 80’s? Not a bad QBR but hardly worthy of a $120+ Million contract AND two No. 1 picks.

A misfire on a deal like that will cost jobs.

Some worry that the Cleveland Browns are primed to move on Flacco. Now there’s a team that changes coaches and general managers more frequently than Antonio Cromartie changes baby mommas. A team that has won exactly 1 playoff game since January 6, 1990 (Flacco was 4 at the time); has made only 2 playoff appearances since 1990 and has had only 3 winning seasons since 1990.

Opting for the Browns over the Ravens is like trading in Kate Upton for Joan Rivers.

And please, let’s not dredge up the fact that the Falcons gave up multiple picks to move up to nab Julio Jones in 2011 and how the Redskins did the same to move up to take RGIII in 2012. Those teams moved up to take rookies who cost a fraction of what Flacco will cost.

Admittedly Flacco has most of the negotiating leverage. The Ravens do not have a backup QB worthy of taking over. There is no QB available to them in the draft at No. 32 and please don’t say Alex Smith.

So why give him more leverage with the exclusive tag at $20M?

Such a tag will prove costly not only because it represents 16.5% of the entire salary cap of $120.9M, but it will also make it extremely difficult for the Ravens to keep players like Bryant McKinnie and Anquan Boldin – both vital to the team’s success this past postseason.

Imagine Flacco without that pair; without Matt Birk; without Jacoby Jones; without Vonta Leach; and dependent upon a rebuilding defense without Ed Reed to help control the clock and tilt the field.

That $5M+ could go a long way towards keeping more of the team in tact.

The Ravens need to realize that they stand out head and shoulders above the potential suitors for Flacco and that Flacco and his young, growing family would prefer to remain close to their roots in Audubon, NJ, just 100 miles away than to drift off to Cleveland or Arizona.

(And no the Eagles and Chip Kelly’s rapid-fire Oregon Ducks offense isn’t an option.)

So let’s just hope the Ravens stand tall and proud and don’t go the “exclusive” route if the franchise tag is in play.

Otherwise the only thing left on the negotiating table will be unnecessary cap casualties.

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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...more

31 Raves on “Non-Exclusive is The Way to go if Ravens Play “Tag” With Flacco

    • Matthew on said:

      Memories are fickle things. Let’s say Suggs doesn’t get hurt and has another monster year. Do we consider his contract to be too high? The same goes for Ngata. Also, we’re only questioning Rice’s contract because he had a few costly fumbles in the playoffs, which sticks out. Pierce’s emergence also causes us to devalue Rice’s contributions. How many times did Rice pick up those key first downs for us? The Ravens have to write contracts based off of the present situation with no idea what the future holds. They do pretty well, even if they have tied up a lot of cash in a few players. If those players bounce back, everyone will be slapping Ozzie on the back and calling him a genius. Either way, restructuring gives a team the flexibility to adjust to changing situations with players. I expect we will see some with the mentioned players either this year or next unless they all have spectacular seasons.

  1. Jerry B on said:

    Tony, if the Ravens believe that Flacco is, in fact, their “franchise” QB, then they MUST sew him up with a long term contract! Admittedly, I don’t know how the “cap” works, but I do know that “franchise” QB’s are hard to come by. As to the previous “88 starts” you refer to, if you check the reccord, you’ll find he did more with less than any of his contemporaries – 5 straight playoff appearances; 3 AFC championship games, one of which he shoulda/coulda/woulda won but for an inept receiver; and an MVP performance Super Bowl victory! If Lee Evans could catch, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion! What more does a QB have to do to prove his worth?! As the Ravens’ history attests, all the potential “cap” casualties you mention are more easily replaced than a “franchise” QB! And, now that Flacco is no longer under Cameron’s control, the sky is the limit for him…..

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      I think great defenses and a great running game had a lot to do with Joe’s success early in his career. To say he did more with less is really an insult to the rest of the team, particularly the defense. But that’s beside the point here. The Ravens can’t outbid themselves and shouldn’t put the exclusive tag on Flacco. Why everyone believes that over the course of the last 5 games Flacco has suddenly emerged as a savior and the rest of the league is willing to open the vault for him is really just another example of a society with a here and now mentality that goes all in for the moment.

      If Kaepernick had completed that pass to Crabtree and the 49ers go on to win the Super Bowl, and Flacco had nothing to do with that play (which he didn’t) does his value go down?

      • John on said:

        Great defended and running games win championships. Outside Flacco’s performance this year, when was the last time a defense as bad as ours got to hold a Lombardi? Not often. Don’t believe me -ask God’s gift, Tom Brady. Or, the poster-child of one-and-done, Peyton Manning.

        All of this proves Flacco’s worth. If he walks, who leads? Reed is old and will likely play elsewhere because he’s going to get more than he’s worth. Suggs is already injured. Ray Rice only has a few years left.

        Teams need leaders. We just saw the passing of the guard.

        Besides, even when Flacco chooses to stay in Baltimore, it will only be after Cleveland has forced us to pay him more up front money than we can afford. That would kill us. Not sure how you missed that.

        • Rankings on said:

          Defensive rankings of last few SB champs:

          2012 Ravens: 17th
          2011 Giants: 27th
          2010 Packers: 5th
          2009 Saints: 25th

          Counterpoint – when’s the last time a team without a top-tier QB got to hold a Lombardi?

          2012: Joseph
          2011: Eli
          2010: Rodgers
          2009: Brees
          2008: Ben
          2007: Eli
          2006: Peyton
          2005: Ben (you could probably put a pin in this one)
          2004: Brady
          2003: Brady
          2002: Brad Johnson <—

          You need a very good to great QB to win a championship.

      • karl on said:

        You still beating that tired and old argument? I love your work but on this you’re way off. Flacco is elite! He’s a winner! Superbowl win thanks to his play. We don’t win the Superbowl without Flacco. Just admit you were wrong about him.

        As for this article? It’s moot because Flacco will get signed to a long term deal before deadline.

      • Jerry B on said:

        Tony, when I said he’s done more with less than his contemporaries, I’m referring to the receiving corps he’s worked with since his arrival in 2008. They were so bad in his first two years, that there was a hue and cry to provide him with weapons! Prior to Boldin’s arrival in 2010, his primary target was Derrick Mason. He didn’t get Torry Smith until last year and, until his arrival there was NO ONE to “stretch” the field! Brady, Rodgers, Roethlisburger and Brees, just to name a few, all have a better complement of receivers to work with than Flacco’s had for most of his 5 years here. He didn’t just EMERGE in the playoffs this year – he’s been sensational every year since leading his team to the AFC championship in his rookie year! How many playoff appearances would the Ravens have made…….without him?! C’mon……MAN!

      • Jeremy on said:

        The defense was great for a decade, and where did that get Kyle Boller, Steve McNair, Elvis Grbac, Anthony Wright, and whoever else
        s name you want to plug in. Do you really think NOW, after watching this offense with out Cam Cameron, wasn’t being held back? And Joe in particularly.

        Did Joe give up the touchdown at Atlanta a few years ago after leading what should have been a game winning drive? Did he drop potential game winning passes in Pittsburgh, like Derrick Mason once did, Anquan Boldin once did. mark Clayton in New England. Hauschka missing a kick in Minnesota in what should have been a high light reel comeback game for Joe.

        The only thing that kept Joe’s stats down for all these years was the conservative approach we would ALWAYS take on offense, because we were built to win with defense and a strong running game. It was always a no win situation for Joe. And despite ALL OF THAT, he still got it done! You know what it took?? It took our defense finally falling apart, AND getting rod of Cam Cameron to finally let the man play his game and lead us to the promised land.

        I get where you are coming from in regards to the cap, but quit trying to discredit what he has done- and stop trying to make it sound like he was only good for 5 games! He is and always has been a winner. he has never lived by the stat sheet because the team was never built that way.

        • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

          Chill out Jeremy. No one said he was only good for 5 games. What I said was the he was above average on average for 88 other games.

          And let’s not forget how bad Joe was in the playoffs back in 2008 and 2009 when his QB Rating was an anemic (and Bolleresque) 46.5 with 1 TD and 6 INT’s over the course of 5 playoff games. Yes they were 3-2 during those games. Should the Ravens thank Joe for those? Sure he was a winner in the playoffs but let’s be honest here, he was along for the ride in those games.

          I’m not trying to beat the guy up…just trying to consider his complete body of work to assess his market value. To pay him on 6 games without Cam Cameron (let’s not forget the Denver loss at home when Flaccoing had a different meaning) and believe that you can assess value on those 6 games and ignore the 87 others is just nuts, IMHO!

  2. Briien Jackson on said:

    I see two obvious flaws with the logic here:

    1. The leverage game is basically a six of one, half dozen of the other problem. Sure, giving Flacco the exclusive tag and a potential $20 million cap number gives him leverage with respect to the Ravens’ cap number, but giving him the non-exclusive tag gives him additional leverage in the form of allowing other teams to come along and throw a lot of money at him. I’m not sure that either is really greater than the other in terms of added leverage, but one of them at least guarantees that you won’t be losing your franchise quarterback to another team.

    2. The quality of the franchise making him an offer is wholly irrelevant, because as has been demonstrated repeatedly over the last 5-10 years: adding a franchise quarterback tends to turn that sort of dysfunction around in a flash. Heck, the Ravens are even something of an example of this, as they went from being an up and down franchise (to an extent) to being a perennial playoff team and Superbowl contender as soon as Flacco took the reigns.

    As far as losing other guys go, that’s a fair concern, but I get the feeling that a lot of fear over this is tied to an emotional connection to this Superbowl winning team more than a fair evaluation of how important everyone is. I mean, I love Leach and Jacoby, but neither of those guys is vital/irreplaceable, certainly not more so than a QB in the modern game. Boldin is probably a little bit more important, but he’s also entering his mid-30′s, so in the best case scenario he’s not a part of the long-term plans at this point, whereas Flacco is still young enough to be the foundation of the team for ~10 years. And as for McKinnie, well, he played four great games, but you have to stack that up against an entire career of being a fat, lazy, unmotivated, underachiever. He hasn’t come anywhere close to making me think you can count on him for the long haul.

    • Matthew on said:

      Your opinion is based on the assumption that there are a number of other teams that have a lot of money to throw at Joe. We’re not the only team in cap trouble. There are only one or two teams that have the kind of cap space needed to throw enough money at Joe to tempt him to leave Baltimore. Even then, those teams will need to do some slashing of their own as well as departing with two first round draft picks. How many coaches and GMs are willing to put their careers on the line for a deal of that size? It doesn’t matter if you have Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Joe Montana at QB if you can’t provide him with a decent offensive line to protect him and offensive weapons to use. Any team who could potentially steal Flacco from us would be sacrificing those other tools.

      • Briien Jackson on said:

        “Any team who could potentially steal Flacco from us would be sacrificing those other tools.”

        As a simple assertion, this doesn’t really pass the smell test. I mean, let’s say it’s true: then how do the teams that pay big money for their quarterbacks manage to put good supporting talent around them at all?

        As for clearing cap space, my guess is that a non-playoff team with 2013 cap space and a desperate need for a quarterback won’t have much trouble finding guys they can easily part ways with to get a franchise QB. And the draft picks are a total non-issue: teams give up more than that to move up for elite college players all the time. Two first rounders to get a proven franchise QB who consistently goes to the playoffs, had the postseason run Joe just had, and is entering the prime of his career? There’s not a franchise in the league who wouldn’t make that deal if they needed a QB.

        • Matthew on said:

          “[H]ow do the teams that pay big money for their quarterbacks manage to put good supporting talent around them at all?”

          Generally, they draft it. An ability that would be severely hampered by giving away two first round draft picks. My point is that typically a team will either give up money or top tier draft picks to get a franchise QB. I don’t think there’s a single historical case of a team giving up both. Teams that give up draft picks are giving them up to pick up rookies, who get paid low rookie wages that are friendly to the cap.

          You’re thinking like a Ravens fan versus putting yourself in the shoes of another team. Even the “experts” aren’t sold on Flacco yet. That works in our advantage and gives us the ability to use the non-exclusive tag with little risk. There’s no way a team gives up that much cap space (very few actually have much to begin with due to the flat cap) plus sacrifices their upcoming and future draft picks for a player that they’re not sure of. Can you imagine the outrage the teams would face from their fan base if they cut all of their big name players to make cap space for a gamble on an unproven QB? Remember, we’re looking at this from an outside perspective.

          For example, let’s say we didn’t have Joe, we had a poor season, but we were in a good position high in the upcoming draft. Could you imagine the fury that Ozzie and Steve would face if the Ravens cut Suggs, Ngata, Webb, and Rice as well as giving up this year’s and next year’s first round picks to make room for someone like Russel Wilson? Want a Super Bowl winning QB instead? Inject Eli Manning’s name instead. Either way, you’d probably see a fan revolt.

          • Briien Jackson on said:

            “You’re thinking like a Ravens fan versus putting yourself in the shoes of another team.”

            With all due respect, I’d say just the opposite: you’re thinking like a fan of a team that already has a franchise QB, not like the GM of a team who doesn’t have a viable QB and doesn’t see any good options in the draft.

            Also, it seems to me that we have competing arguments here between “Flacco isn’t that good” and “no one will try to sign him away from the Ravens.” I disagree with the former, but understand that’s not unanimous, but the latter is pretty ridiculous on its face, if only because it only takes one GM to come along and disprove it.

  3. Matthew on said:

    Tony, I agree 100% and have been trying to make that point on numerous boards. To steal Flacco from the Ravens, a team would have to pay well over $100M/5 years and sacrifice two first round draft picks. It would be the largest deal in NFL history. We as fans are confident in Joe, but the league as a whole is not totally convinced, regardless of his performance in the playoffs this year. I’m skeptical that any team that has that kind of cap space available (only a couple) would be willing to risk their jobs on a Flacco deal of that magnitude. I think the non-exclusive tag is a relatively safe gamble that would help the Ravens find a market value for Joe. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that and both sides are able to make a deal prior to March 4th.

  4. Mike H on said:

    Hey Tony, If the choose the non exclusive tag and the Browns make an offer say 5 years 100 million dollars total. Would the Ravens just need to match the deal exactly as laid out by the Browns (if they front load it) or do they just have to find away to match the length & Money which we could some how make in our favor? If we could find away to let him see the market but still work an Ozzie deal for the right price than I think that works.
    Also with the exclusive tag if we have till April 19th to clear the cap to pay him that would give us an extra 45 days to get a deal done without somebody touching him and our cap can still work out or is that not true?

    Thanks

    Mike

    • Matthew on said:

      If the Ravens used the exclusive tag on Joe, they’d have to make the necessary cuts to the roster to get under the salary cap by March 12th. It would also hamstring their ability to re-sign any of our free agents (including restricted free agent tenders) until a long term deal was in place. So the Ravens might miss the free agency window completely. We’d still have until April 19th to get a long term deal done for 2013′s cap space, but by then the damage may already be done. With the lower value of the non-exclusive tag, the Ravens would have more room under the cap ceiling to work through free agency.

  5. Skip on said:

    Yes, the Ravens would just need to match any offer. The tricky part to this is that a team like the Browns could offer Flacco a contract with a huge 1st year salary, one the Ravens couldn’t match even if they could match overall contract numbers: a poison pill contract. So Tony’s strategy here is not without it’s downside.

    If that were to happen then the Ravens would get in return with 2 1st round picks-one this year and one next year making them have 2 1st round picks this year and next. If the Browns were to lure Flacco away then the Ravens this year would get the Clowns’ 6th overall pick in addition to their own 32nd. Lot you could do with a 6th overall pick.

    • Matthew on said:

      The only team that could offer such a contract to Joe without taking a complete slash and burn approach to the rest of the team is the Browns. What are the chances that a new owner, new GM, new coach, etc. are going to put their careers that far out on a limb by offering up both the current and future cap space and the two first round picks a single year removed from using a first rounder on Weeden? For a QB that most of the league is not yet sold on? It’s impossible to say that there’s no chance of something like that happening, but most reasonable people would agree that it’s so unlikely that it would warrant strong consideration of using the non-exclusive tag.

      • Skip on said:

        Right. The Browns have a lot of questions cause they have a lot of holes that could point towards them not pursuing Flacco. Ultimately though it does depend on if the new regime there thinks of Joe. I could see Ozzie thinking that the Browns are not a real threat. Still, lots of people are writing that the Browns would take a run at Joe if they can.

        What about other teams with cap space. Here’s my not well thought out list of teams with lots of cap space and their possibility of taking a run at Joe:

        Little to no chance of signing Joe: Miami, Seattle, Denver, Tampa Bay

        Possible: Philly, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Titans, Buffalo, maybe Minnesota

        Again I have no real idea what these teams are thinking and folks here may have better info. I just matched up teams that have lots of cap space with their QB needs. A couple of words on my possibles:

        Philly- Those who think Flacco wouldn’t work with Chip Kelly’s offense doesn’t realize that Oregon went to the national championship with a QB (Darron Thomas) who is slower than Flacco. Plus Joe would still be home near his family. But they restructured Vick so…

        Buffalo- Obvious upgrade compared to Fitzpatrick. But will they spend?

        J-ville- see Buffalo

        Cleveland- already discussed

        Minnesota- only a moderate amount of cap space so they might not be able to do a poison pill contract but Ponder has an obvious ceiling and Flacco in a dome with AP…wow.

        Titans- Locker is not their future.

  6. Josh on said:

    I think it is now fair to say Cameron held Joe back. After he was fired, we all saw what type of QB he can be. We have the potential to consistently have a top ten offense with Joe at the helm, so pay the man.

  7. Jacob on said:

    If it’s required, I would put the exclusive (i.e., $20 milliion) tag on him. It’s very difficult to find good QBs. It essentially took the Ravens 12 years to find one (1996 to 2008). Yes, you can get lucky to find one like Russell Wilson in the third round, but most franchise QBs are found at the top of the draft. With Ozzie’s drafting skills, the Ravens won’t be picking at the top of the draft and, hence, in all likelihood, won’t have a shot at a legitimate QB for another decade or more. Plus, even slightly above-average QBs are making $16 million a year (Cutler signed a two year extension with Bears for $30 million). I’m ok with Ravens paying $20 million a year for a QB of Joe’s talent and track record.

  8. RichieG on said:

    Hey TL,
    Thanks for de-bunking JerryB’s, my VERY OLD friend, thesis of Flacco not having a good surrounding cast…BTW, as much as we like Pitta, ToddH was AT LEAST as good and Mason was much more than AqBoldin-lite.
    Re Flacco not accepting a Cleveland offer should it happen, I can see him w/a chip on his shoulder because the Raves didn’t even “exclusive-tag” him, and, just like a UFA, use that as an “I’ll show them” motivational event!
    Finally, as you might remember, I was off his bandwagon mid-season…AND, very happy for his (& the raves) post-season success. Sooooo, assuming he reverts to the norm and is O N L Y (???) an elite performer when it really counts, in the playoffs, he still MUST be signed to a deal…the raves will be a play-off contender for the next 5-10 yrs w/him and whoever else they plug in at WR, RB et al (my only caveat being that they CANNOT switch Oher back to LT). Franchise QBs are not a dime-a-dozen commodity!
    Finally, really, is it just me or does he sound greedy?!?
    richieG in Dallas

    • Jerry B on said:

      When Flacco arrived here in 2008, Heap was on his last legs and, aside from Mason, he was throwing tthe likes of Mark Clayton, Kelly Washington and D’onte Stallworth (one time!)! Maybe you don’t remember the, “he needs weapons” mantra following his first two very successful seasons. And, let’s not forget the offense he played in until CaMORON’s firing, where receivers were ALWAYS having difficulty getting separation, while Flacco was being instructed not to throw the ball unless they are open! Flacco already resorted to the, “I’ll show them” attitude when he refused a deal earlier last season and then went on to beat the rookie sensation, Luck, plus two of the greatest in P. Manning and Brady on the way to being named MVP while winning the Super Bowl, all in RECORD fashion! Don’t know how much more he can “show them!” Greedy? Why, because he wants to be compensated BASED ON HIS PERFORMANCE? C’mon, Man! The only ACCURATE comment in your entire post is that I am your VERY OLD friend, to which I say, “it takes one to know one”!

      • Kim A on said:

        I couldn’t agree more with this! I don’t know what else the man can do to prove that he is as solid as they come! We waited a loooooong time for Joe Flacco, and now we have to secure our future with him, because I believe that ‘as Flacco goes, so go the Ravens’. I have never been off the Flacco bandwagon; I am admittedly a 5 year homerette because I always knew the problem was Cameron. We finally got to see a glimpse of JOE’S game in the season opener, and then it was back to the same old same old Cam crap, until he was let go. He has held Joe back, as he did with Brees and Rivers…we HAVE to sign Joe!

  9. Dave on said:

    The Ravens know what it will take to get the deal done so just do it. No matter how long they have to negotiate a deal, the price is not going to go down. So if they believe the price is too high, use the non exclusive tag that way if another team offers more than they believe Joe is worth at least they get some compensation. I agree the franchise QB is the most important part of the team, but at some point if you don’t have the other pieces to make an overall successful team what good is having a franchise QB. If the Ravens can’t keep Boldin,Jones,Pitta who is Joe going to throw too?

  10. Ravenwoman on said:

    Tony,
    While I agree with many of the points presented in your blog, I don’t believe this is the way its going to play out. Last summer when you interviewed the owner, he stated that the one factor that made all the difference in reaching the playoffs 4 consecutive years was – Joe Flacco. Ozzie Newsome stated that Joe Flacco will be the QB for as long as he is the GM. Steve B. invited Flacco to bang on his desk if he won the Superbowl. These actions tell me that the last thing they are going to do is lowball this guy. Because if they do that, they are throwing down the gauntlet and saying “Go find your market and we will match.” I believe they would find an over zealous suiter and the Ravens would have to totally gut the team. Also, by franchising him at 14M may be interpreted as a sign of disrespect on the part of management and Joe is a very prideful person and wouldn’t want to be insulted with such a low tag.

    The Ravens are going to have to change the way they do business and value their players. For the last 17 years, we have NEVER had a franchise QB. We had the cap room to value and overvalue various defensive positions and to a lesser degree one or two offensive positions. Todays NFL salary structure places an inordinate emphasis on the QB position which has driven the salary structure over the top. It is totally disproportinate to the other positions on the field. Football may be a team sport, but you wouldn’t think that looking at the salaries of the top 10 QBs in the league. Therefore, the Ravens are going to have to allocate 15-20% of their yearly cap space to Joe Flacco, if they desire to keep him. This is going to cause the team to purge many fan favorites, including Ed Reed. We will have to build through the draft and undrafted free agents. We may have to sign veterans at the league minimum. Gone are the days when we will be able to retain 10-15 original draft picks and pay them top 5 money. The Ravens are going to have to change their business model and be more like the Patriots, who have very few high priced players.

    Also, the starting point for Joe Flacco’s salary will be no less than 20M per year. That is the starting point. Structure how you like, but I will be shocked if it is anything less. Joe Flacco feels he is the best QB in the NFL and he is not going to sign a contract that we be outdone and obsolete in the next year or two. Forget the regular season stats. It is all about the post season and Joe is a winner. He has done it all. Now the Ravens are going to have to pay up, even if it means letting go legacy players.

    • mystery man on said:

      Agree 100% also,,,,,,,,,,,Ozzie has yet to conduct a ‘franchise QB contract’…..until he does , I don’t believe he can do it and not hurt the team,,,,,,,,he has set himself up very wrong with the over-paid defensive contracts he has negotiated to date and now they are coming back to haunt him,,,,,,,,,,,,Ozzie has mis-played this one and I don’t think he has a way out other than letting many fine players go and injuring the team big time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,If Ozzie pulls this one out I will put my trust in him but until them I believe he has bungled this one up………….

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