We may know sooner rather than later about the Ravens’ plans for Joe Flacco, as talks this week toward a long-term deal will give an indication of how things stand for the Super Bowl MVP’s future in Baltimore.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, agent Joe Linta and Ravens negotiator Pat Moriarity are meeting this week in Baltimore to work on the deal.
Trying to work out a long-term contract is a key for the Ravens, as neither of their franchise-tag options are perfect.
The exclusive franchise tag would keep other teams away, but cost them more than $20 million against a salary cap that’s flat this year, and likely cost them one of the young free agents (such as Dannell Ellerbe, or Paul Kruger) that they’d prefer to retain.
The normal franchise tag is $14.6 million, and would net them two first-round picks if they chose to not match another team’s deal. That creates an element of risk that a desperate team with cap space (cough, Cleveland, cough) might make a run at Flacco.
With the Ravens projected to be $5 million over the salary cap as of Friday, the bigger number would create its own set of complications.
But with talks starting soon, they’ll at least know where they stand come the combine, when the league gathers to pre-tamper with free agents prior to the official tampering period.