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Report: No restructuring talks for Boldin and Ravens yet

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin celebrates after the Ravens defeated the New England Patriots to win the NFL AFC Championship football game in Foxborough Reuters

The Ravens are scheduled to meet with Joe Flacco’s agent at the Scouting Combine as they try to hammer out a new deal for the Super Bowl XLVII MVP in talks that will have a great deal of impact on the rest of the roster for the 2013 season.

One player whose status will likely be most affected by the Flacco negotiations is wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Boldin is set to make $6 million next season with a cap number of $7.531 million, which has led to speculation that he’ll need to restructure his deal to avoid getting released. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that there have been no talks on that front as of yet.

It’s easy to understand why that’s the case. The Ravens have a little more than $10 million in cap room right now, but there won’t be any room if they wind up having to use the franchise tag on Flacco before the March 4 deadline. Beyond that, the team has to make tender offers for their restricted free agents or sign them to new deals that will further impact their available cap room. That group includes tight end Ed Dickson, tight end Dennis Pitta and defensive end Arthur Jones, all of whom are players the Ravens don’t want to lose this offseason. On top of that, there are free agents like linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and safety Ed Reed that the team might want to bring back.

Until they have a better handle on how much money they’ll need, it’s hard to work out a restructure with Boldin. Given all the moving parts, though, it seems like a conversation that will have to come eventually.

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21 Responses to “Report: No restructuring talks for Boldin and Ravens yet”
  1. fuglyflorio says: Feb 20, 2013 10:02 AM

    It’s really amazing how much the salary cap impacts teams. The Ravens have just won it all, and now they’re faced with several hard, miserable decisions that may very well compromise their ability to remain competitive. And they’re far from the only team in this predicament.

  2. rockthered1286 says: Feb 20, 2013 10:18 AM

    Pitta gets a first. Jones a third. Dickson… Well he came on strong late but all season was notorious for drops and no separation so losing him isn’t huge. Ellerbe comes back. Kruger ends up in Indy. Reed in Miami. And Joe gets his contract in 2 weeks at $120M over 7 years.

  3. dcapettini says: Feb 20, 2013 10:32 AM

    Considering that Flacco’s agent reportedly turned down $15m a year in the last off season, (which would have paid Joe and extra $7.5m for 2012) and it appears that he won’t sign for less than $20m, maybe more. Gutting the team for one player, no matter how good he is, doesn’t seem to be a good business model. The Ravens have a better chance of winning in 2013 with a new QB than they do without all the players that will have to be let go to keep Joe, although neither alternative looks like another trip to the Super Bowl.

    The Ravens should tag Flacco at $14.5m and either hopr that Cleveland signs him or trade him to someone for a bunch of draft picks. The new NFLPA agreement absolutely mandates that you improve through the draft. There are a couple of strong armed QBs in the draft, which is what they are built for.

  4. thingamajig says: Feb 20, 2013 10:50 AM

    6 mil salary is actually kinda low for a WR as good as Boldin. The Ravens need to look elsewhere for the money.

  5. 4gone says: Feb 20, 2013 10:57 AM

    QB money is just getting out of control. When you pay a QB that much money, you start to not be able to pay to put quality around him. It happened in Indy with Manning, happening now in New Orleans and it will happen to the Ravens. From posts I have read, the QB Greed is turning fans against these guys. Demanding 20M a year makes you unrelatable to the $50k/year fan whose ticket prices just went up again. Fun.

  6. huskersrock1 says: Feb 20, 2013 11:01 AM

    If Brady or Manning had Boldin he would have had 1500. Flacco played well but doesn’t elevate others likean elite QB does. Trade him and keep the team or face certain salary cap hell.

  7. Robroy says: Feb 20, 2013 11:27 AM

    Ozzie doesn’t do restructured deals, a point he reinforced most recently in the “State of the Ravens” address two weeks ago. They honor the contract or cut the player.

  8. crownofthehelmet says: Feb 20, 2013 11:29 AM

    The crazy thing about it: Boldin was way more important to their SB win than Flacco was.

  9. ravenator says: Feb 20, 2013 11:36 AM

    Ravens are fine. Oz is the best

  10. crownofthehelmet says: Feb 20, 2013 12:04 PM

    They should sign their QB for $25M/yr and Boldin for $26M/yr.

  11. reed20fence says: Feb 20, 2013 12:07 PM

    All of this potential unfurling of an otherwise solid team seems a steep price to pay for On and Off again Joe.

    I mean we’re not exactly talking about a QB that’s a game changer here. A field marshall like Brady, Brees, Manning or Rodgers.

    I love Joe for remaining healthy, not getting in the way for the last five years, and playing gutsy ball in this years playoffs. But he should not – SHOULD NOT be allowed to gut this team of its historical players and eat of 20% of its cap space for the foreseeable future, potentially impacting the next decade or more of this franchises success.

    If they get this one wrong, it’ll be a depressing next decade of football in Charm City and frankly, this Ravens fan is starting to think it isn’t worth it… take the 2 first rounders.

  12. southpaw2k says: Feb 20, 2013 12:09 PM

    huskersrock1 says:
    Feb 20, 2013 11:01 AM
    If Brady or Manning had Boldin he would have had 1500. Flacco played well but doesn’t elevate others likean elite QB does. Trade him and keep the team or face certain salary cap hell.

    —————————————————

    Sigh…

    1. What does it matter if Boldin got 1500 yards this past season? Brady and Manning got to watch Boldin and Flacco play in, and ultimately win the Super Bowl. What good would having a 1500-yard season have done for Boldin if it meant he didn’t get a ring?

    2. Yeah, Flacco sure didn’t elevate his game in the postseason at all. It’s not like he beat Manning and/or Brady in head to head games on the road or anyth – oh, wait.

    3. Flacco is an unrestricted free agent. The Ravens couldn’t trade him even if they wanted to. If they opted not to sign him, the best they could do is slap the exclusive franchise tag and get two 1st-round picks should another team sign him.

    So aside from all that, your post was spot on.

  13. rockthered1286 says: Feb 20, 2013 12:26 PM

    I’m beyond tired of hearing people call Joe inconsistent, not that good, lucky, etc…

    Folks, you gotta remember- every possible game you could be talking about came under 4 3/4 seasons of Cam Cameron running the offense- NOT JOE. Joe wasn’t allowed to audible until 2011 (4th season)and even then it was noted that Cam was sending in the plays so late that Joe didn’t have time to audible even if he needed to. 2012 changed a bit, but again, Joe was held back, and Cam went with the whole “they think that we think that they think we’re going to pass, so let’s run every down” style offense, accompanied with poor O-Line play and a ton of deep routes/nothing mid-range. It was not condusive to a QB with the arm strength Joe has and hindered his growth. Then came Caldwell. Since Jim took over as OC Joe went 18-1 TD-INT. That’s sick. And I’m sorry, you can’t call a 7 game stretch a “hot streak.” Joe faced a top notch Denver and 49er D, top D in turnovers in the Pats, and a few other good defenses. It’s not like we put up these numbers against Detroit, Miami and Buffalo. This was not a fluke. Joe got unleashed, but instead of praising the QB for growing up, everyone calls it flukey and thinks he’s still average, which couldn’t be any further from the truth. Does he deserve top money? Of course not. Brady had a few rings under his belt before he got his pay day, as did Ben, and Manning. Hell, even Brees had his ring AND several passing records before getting that top dollar. I stick to my $120M over 7 years- roughly $17.15M per year, which would put him at 6th in QB pay. I think he absolutely deserves that, and if the Ravens backload past 2015 correctly, it will in no way hinder this team.

    Cannot wait for 2013/14 season for Joe to silence the critics. Again.

  14. scoobies05 says: Feb 20, 2013 12:29 PM

    great post southpaw….the other crazy thing is that crown actually believes what he writes

  15. iamedreed says: Feb 20, 2013 12:48 PM

    anquan will get extended, his cap number will drop, and he will retire a raven

    just sit back and let ozzie do his work

  16. bullybirds says: Feb 20, 2013 1:13 PM

    Once Flacco’s deal is set, all the other players will be next up. Any other deal could affect available capital when you are this tight on the cap.

  17. taddow6733 says: Feb 20, 2013 2:04 PM

    I’m shocked at all the armchair executives who still doubt the Ravens front office. That organization has set the standard in the NFL for quite a long time now. They’re smart, measured and never make moves out of emotion (positive or negative). If we went back to this time last year all the hand wringing would be about losing Corey Redding, Jarrett Johnson, Zibikowski, etc. That front office knows how to make tough decisions that are the best for the team. We’re talking about a team that let Ray Lewis test free agency a few years ago! Whatever they end up paying Flacco they’re smart enough to do it in such a way that won’t force them to gut the rest of the team.

  18. reed20fence says: Feb 20, 2013 2:14 PM

    Rockthered:

    The chance that you’re absolutely right about Joe post-Cam is pretty high, but the cap question still remains. Can a franchise tie up 20% of its cap space for the greater part of a decade in 1 player? Particularly when that one player needs to be surrounded by such an expensive supporting cast? Suppose he does sign a 7 year deal, but they can’t afford guys on D or WRs for him to have a full complement of a team like the last few years — that means we’re out of a serious hunt until 2020, and it’ll take another several years to build up momentum with a new, more balanced cast. Are we willing, as fans, to sit out of serious contention until well into the 2020s?

    Everyone assumes that the majority of Bradys and Bress’ and Rogers’ recievers would be bums if it weren’t for the guy throwing them the ball.

    Can we say the same for Joe? Is a seven game case study enough?

  19. southpaw2k says: Feb 20, 2013 2:56 PM

    The chance that you’re absolutely right about Joe post-Cam is pretty high, but the cap question still remains. Can a franchise tie up 20% of its cap space for the greater part of a decade in 1 player? Particularly when that one player needs to be surrounded by such an expensive supporting cast? Suppose he does sign a 7 year deal, but they can’t afford guys on D or WRs for him to have a full complement of a team like the last few years — that means we’re out of a serious hunt until 2020, and it’ll take another several years to build up momentum with a new, more balanced cast. Are we willing, as fans, to sit out of serious contention until well into the 2020s?

    Everyone assumes that the majority of Bradys and Bress’ and Rogers’ recievers would be bums if it weren’t for the guy throwing them the ball.

    Can we say the same for Joe? Is a seven game case study enough?

    ————————————————-

    Then what’s your solution? Suppose the Ravens choose not to sign Flacco and allow another team to sign him at the expense of two 1st-round picks. What option does that leave them at QB for the next several years? There isn’t any really good QB prospect coming out of the draft this year, and there aren’t any worthwhile free agent QBs about to hit the market. You’re not honestly saying the Ravens should have Tyrod Taylor be their full-time QB, are you?

    I agree that the Ravens are in a financial bind, but they are hardly alone in that regards. They stand a better chance at being competitive with Flacco locked in as their long-term QB than dumping him to save money and invest in defense and wide receiver. If the last several Super Bowls have been any indication, it’s QB play that wins championships, not necessarily a top-tier defense.

  20. theclaim says: Feb 20, 2013 5:01 PM

    Eddie, come to DC. You don’t have to move and still have the opportunity to get back to back rings! Think about it Ed. The Washington Edskins. I like it

  21. reed20fence says: Feb 20, 2013 6:09 PM

    Southie,

    I don’t have a solution. Looks more and more like we’ll just let guys like Ells, Reed and Krug go and hope that our player development regime has moved fast enough to make Bynes, Upshaw, and Thompson effective enough to take their place.

    We should thank our lucky stars for Ozzie and the new CBA which makes value drafting in the mid-to-lates more of a reality for teams with tight caps.

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