By Eric Schmidt

Today marks the first day that teams can place the franchise tag on players around the NFL. Last season, a record 21 players were slapped with the tag with 12 of those players agreeing to multi-year deals before the July 16th deadline last year. Fresh off a Super Bowl victory and MVP award, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has played the final year of his rookie contract and is eligible for free agency this offseason. Flacco will never reach the free agent market but desires a long-term deal as his agent proclaimed Flacco should be paid as one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Talks are expected to begin at the annual NFL Combine which opens this week.

The Ravens really only have themselves to blame for this current situation. They should have worked out a contract extension prior to the start of the season, but based on this season, Flacco has earned himself a significant pay upgrade.

If the Ravens are unable to get a long-term deal done with Flacco, they will place the franchise tag on him. Which franchise tag is the remaining question. A non exclusive franchise tag allows him to speak with other teams and if they can work out a deal, the Ravens would receive that team’s first round picks for the next two years.

If I am the Cleveland Browns, I just at that chance. Flacco is entering his prime and only the Cincinnati Bengals have more room under the salary cap. Of course the Browns have no second-round selection in this year’s draft so they wouldn’t have a selection until the third-round. Given the amount of money they have to spend, many holes could be plugged through free agents.

If the Ravens decide to keep Flacco from speaking to other teams through the use of the exclusive franchise tag, the team will be forced to pay him $20.5 million in salary for the 2013 season if a long-term contract can’t be reached.

Say what you will about Flacco, but the Ravens can ill-afford to lose him under center. Baltimore needs to bite the bullet and pay the man while locking him up for the next six or seven seasons.




Filed under: AFC, AFC North, Baltimore Ravens, NFL

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. avatar chalie

    Joe did a great job in the play off i ask you this question who is a better qb right now he beat the so calledtop why does he not deserve the big money

    • avatar Eric Schmidt

      Agreed. The Ravens must pay him or at least use the exclusive tag, they can’t afford to lose him

  2. avatar chalie

    Joe did a great job in the playoffs and he beat the so called top qbs.sowhy does he not deserve the big bucks.

  3. avatar chalie

    Why is it when joe loses on the road it is all is fault , but when he wins at home it is the defense that won lt i thought you win as a team and lose as a team i dont think the sports world see it that way they don’ t see it that way?


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