Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco has been playing in the final year of his rookie contract. However, don’t expect him to hit the free agent market in March, especially with his recent play under center during the playoffs. Flacco wants a long-term deal from the Ravens, and reports suggest that he might want Drew Brees type money, $20 million annually. The Ravens dropped the ball on this negotiation and Flacco is now the one with the upper hand.
Baltimore refused to extend Flacco’s contract at the start of the season and despite an up and down regular season, Flacco has been electric in the playoffs. He has eight touchdowns and no interceptions, defeating Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady while taking the Ravens to the Super Bowl.
On Tuesday, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome told reporters that Flacco will be a Raven in 2013. “He’ll be playing for us next year,” Newsome told reporters. He went on to say that the two sides have a pretty good idea of where they sit in the current negotiations.
CBS Sports insider Jason LaCanfora suggests that it’s likely that the Ravens will place the franchise tag on Flacco and then try to work out a long term deal with the quarterback. LaCanfora also suggests that his sources have told him that Flacco would be willing to accept less guaranteed money in order to get the annual value of his contract up to $20 million per year.
Flacco could also manage to take a page out of Drew Bress’ playbook. If the Ravens do place the franchise tag on him, he could holdout. While the Ravens could have handled this situation prior to the start of the season, this post-season run by the Ravens and Flacco will now ultimately end up costing the team more money.