No single player has more on the line for the Ravens than Joe Flacco.
Not only is he playing for a contract, but he’s also trying to reverse course, after shouldering the responsibility for the team’s recent slide.
Flacco’s turned the ball over six times in the three-game losing streak, hardly the way you want to go into a contract negotiation.
“All of it,” Flacco said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, when asked about the blame. “It starts with the quarterback, and that’s the position that’s looked at.
“You have to go look at yourself and see what you can do better in order to make everybody else around you a little bit better and in order to get our team to win.”
It’s at least the appropriate thing to say when you’re looking for more money.
After they couldn’t work out a long-term agreement this summer, Flacco’s future became a question mark. The franchise tag is the easiest, and perhaps likeliest end for now, but Flacco said he was still hopeful about the situation, though it was something he wasn’t dwelling on.
“Yeah, I always am [optimistic],” Flacco said. “This is a great organization and you’re always upbeat about that. . . .
“I’m sure it’s back there somewhere, but it’s not something I’ve really thought about or really considered. I knew it wasn’t going to be a topic of conversation during the season. I kind of made that clear in my own mind at the beginning of the season.”
The deal’s not going to come in the next few weeks. But the way Flacco plays in response to the pressure might go a long way toward determining what that deal looks like when or if it happens.