Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is in the final year of his rookie contract, and there haven’t been any serious negotiations about an extension. But Flacco’s pricetag might be going up, especially if he keeps playing like he did in Monday night’s opener, when he led Baltimore to a 44-13 win over the Bengals.
After the game, an animated Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, “Pay the man,” a reference to Flacco’s impending status as a free agent after the season.
Ravens fans need not worry about losing Flacco, though, no matter what happens the rest of the way. They’ll either sign him to a contract extension over the next several months, or else use the franchise tag to retain his right for at least the 2013 season.
Meanwhile, Flacco’s agent, Joe Linta, said there have been no new talks. Flacco is in the fifth year of a rookie contract that pays him $6.7 million this season.
“The only way you get categorized as an elite quarterback is by the money and the contract you’re offered,” Linta said, per CSNBaltimore.com. “For someone to say you’re great is one thing. To pay you like you’re great is another. My biggest negotiating tactic is his play on the field. Nothing that I say surpasses anything he does on the field. If Steve [Bisciotti, the Ravens’ owner] wants to call me, he's got my number. At this point, it's up to them. ... [Flacco’s] silence is my leverage.”
Flacco has helped the Ravens to two AFC Championship Game appearances, and the team has finished 12-4 the last two seasons.
“You've never missed a game,” Linta said of Flacco, “you've started every game and you've been a consummate citizen in terms of the way you are in the community and handle yourself publicly, if that doesn't make you a top five guy I don't know what does."