As the Ravens and agent Joe Linta, representative of quarterback Joe Flacco, prepare to talk contract for the first time in months, there’s another important factor to keep in mind regarding the seemingly no-brainer possibility that the Ravens would use the exclusive version of the franchise tag on the Super Bowl XLVII MVP.
At current levels of top-five quarterback pay, Flacco’s tender as of April 19 would lock in at $20.464 million. That would make Flacco eligible for a 2014 franchise tender of $24.55 million, based on the rule guaranteeing a franchise player a 20-percent raise upon the second use of the tag.
And then, if the Ravens were to use the franchise tag for a third time in 2015, Flacco would be eligible to receive a 44-percent raise. Which would translate to a franchise tender of $35.36 million.
That’s a three-year haul of $80.37 million. Which, under the exclusive tag, becomes the starting point on a long-term deal
With the non-exclusive tag, which starts at roughly $14.6 million in 2013, the three-year total would be $57.34 million ($14.6 million with a 20-percent raise will be $17.52 million in 2014, which grows to $25.23 million with a 44-percent raise in 2015).
So while the difference between the non-exclusive tag and the exclusive tag amounts to less than $6 million in 2013, the gap by 2015 will be $23 million. And the total difference over three years will be $36 million.
Which could force the Ravens to roll the dice on the non-exclusive tag, hopeful that Flacco wouldn’t call their bluff and sign a long-term deal elsewhere.