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Bisciotti made personal, last-ditch effort to sign Flacco last year

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The Ravens ultimately may have been dumb not to get quarterback Joe Flacco signed last year, but it’s not as if they didn’t try.

In an excerpt from his book regarding the team’s second Super Bowl run, Nestor Aparicio of WNST in Baltimore details a 45-minute, face-to-face meeting between Flacco and owner Steve Bisciotti aimed at getting the deal done before the 2012 season.

“I had never, ever – not for one minute – even spoken to Joe about the contract,” Bisciotti said.  “That was for Pat [Moriarty] and Ozzie [Newsome] to do, but I wanted to take one more swing at it and try to understand the situation.”

Bisciotti’s final offer included a rolling $1 million bonus if Flacco won a Super Bowl at any time during the life of the deal.  It moved to $2 million per year if he won a second one.  Flacco wasn’t interested.

“There are two things here that I don’t understand,” Bisciotti said to Flacco, per Aparicio.  “I don’t understand why you’re walking away from this deal?  As maligned as you are in the press and as little faith as so many pundits have in you, we’re offering you a $90 million deal and you can go wave that in their face and say, ‘F**k you guys!  See, the Ravens DO believe in me!'”

Flacco didn’t flinch.  “I really don’t care about my criticis,” he said.  Flacco then explained that agent Joe Linta wanted a contract free from incentive clauses.

“I’m offering you a better deal than the one you’re asking me for if you’re planning on winning the Super Bowl,” Bisciotti said.  Flacco still didn’t want it.

“I figured if he’s fine with it then I should be fine with it,” Bisciotti said.  “I wanted it behind both of us.  I guess I didn’t really understand how different a guy he was.  I told him, ‘You are a different cat, man!'”

The Ravens ultimately lost the gamble, but they won a Super Bowl.  For Flacco, the worst-case scenario included neither money nor a championship.

“My agent said to me, ‘Think about the worse possible situation and if you’re OK with that then hold your position,” Flacco said.  “If I got hurt, I got hurt.  That’s the nature of the game.  I was willing to look in the mirror and live with that.”

So Flacco went all in, making his own final offer to the boss.

“I told him, ‘You should give me four or five million more now because if I win the Super Bowl’ – and I did say ‘if’ — ‘then it’s gonna cost you $20 million.'”

He did.  And it did.  In hindsight, though, it wasn’t dumb for the Ravens to take the risk.  (It was far dumber, in our view, to publicly call them dumb.)  Still, winning the Super Bowl became the equivalent of buying a house that Bisciotti will be paying for via Flacco’s contract for years to come.

But think of it this way:  Flacco still had the Ravens over a barrel even if the 49ers had decided not to throw the ball three times inside the five with the game on the line.  Winning the Super Bowl only underscored the reality that other teams (like the Browns) would have gladly chased Flacco and given up two first-round picks to get him under the non-exclusive franchise tag.  With the exclusive version putting the Ravens on a year-to-year path that quickly would have gotten ridiculously expensive, the Ravens had no good alternatives.  They had to give Flacco market value.

In other words, Bisciotti would have been paying for the house without even getting it.  Now, that would have been dumb.

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39 Responses to “Bisciotti made personal, last-ditch effort to sign Flacco last year”
  1. faulkn22 says: May 31, 2013 8:12 AM

    Nah, it was a dumb move on Ozzie’s part. Sometimes you can go to the casino and beat the house.

  2. ravensdominate says: May 31, 2013 8:18 AM

    World champs! Love that picture!

  3. st1llerz1 says: May 31, 2013 8:27 AM

    And the rest of the AFCN will be thanking steve buiscuit for the next 6 years for failing to lock jump ball joe flaccid up the year before…

    As the Nest Burns…

    GO STEELERS!

  4. thesteelers says: May 31, 2013 8:34 AM

    LOL

  5. baltimoresnativeson says: May 31, 2013 8:36 AM

    Say what you want, Flacco has some serious stones. On the field and off.

  6. targetmuff says: May 31, 2013 8:37 AM

    You can like my QB or hate him but here are the facts…
    1. No QB has more regular season + postseason wins since he came into the nfl. 63
    2. 3 afc championship appearances on the road and the 2 he lost were because of WR (Boldin/Housh in Pitt and Evans in NE) dropping balls in 4th q.
    3. Most road playoff wins ever by age 27.
    4. 7 current QB have a ring, he is one.
    5. Contrary to popular belief his D this year was ranked 17th in defense so we were not a defensive oriented team this season.
    6. Look at Brees and Rivers, while under Cam Cameron they had decent stats. When they left him their numbers exploded, welcome Jim Caldwell.
    7. 11 Tds in postseason Super Bowl run, tied with Montana for most ever.

    I don’t want anyone on our bandwagon, but he deserves respect as a star QB whether you like him or not.

  7. ac540 says: May 31, 2013 8:44 AM

    …and he got the house. Flacco would’ve been paid either way, market value, under one of the typical cotnracts these days…longer time frame, but really a shorter deal. End of story.

  8. ridingwithnohandlebars says: May 31, 2013 8:54 AM

    That was pretty gutsy for Flacco.

  9. getyourownname says: May 31, 2013 9:01 AM

    “even if the 49ers had decided not to throw the ball three times inside the five with the game on the line.”

    The myth continues. Ravens were playing the run to force the pass; even if 49ers had scored, the Ravens would have had nearly two minutes to score go-ahead points, they only would have needed a FG to win, and the 49ers had not been able to stop them from scoring in the 4Q. Not a sure thing, but it’s not as though 49ers scoring meant they would have won.

    What this article shows is that the call on contract was Flacco’s, not Linta’s, and Linta should muzzle up.

  10. crownofthehelmet says: May 31, 2013 9:02 AM

    All this hoopla over a 50% completion passer. Biscotti’s last-ditch effort should have been to keep Boldin.

  11. gorwr12 says: May 31, 2013 9:03 AM

    So after the release of this book, is this the beginning of the bad relationship between the Ravens and Nestor/WNST?

    I hope not. Nestor still rips on the O’s and they have banned him from media passes at home games.

  12. johngavin says: May 31, 2013 9:12 AM

    Fascinating. I had a feeling Linta wasn’t being 100% honest with his assessment of the Ravens’ front office, a front office pretty much universally renowned for it’s aptitude. Linta is right in one respect: $1m is comparable to $100 for Biscotti, making it more implausible that it would hold up a deal for someone that is inarguably a franchise quarterback in the NFL. The entire thing felt like chest thumping on the part of Linta and it will likely backfire. He saw it as evidence of his ability to get clients what they deserve. Prospective future clients will likely view it as an agent picking completely unnecessary fights.

  13. itsfootballbaby says: May 31, 2013 9:15 AM

    There’s nothing dumb about what the Ravens’ did. Hindsight is always 20/20 and Linta is acting as though winning the SB was a lock sinch. Not so! Flacco has stones and that paid off for him, but that doesn’t change the decision making process for the Ravens. They acted properly and it just didn’t work our in their favor.

  14. ravensfan8780 says: May 31, 2013 9:15 AM

    Agents like Linta are good for their clients in their prime. Then towards the end of their career they get dropped because their loud mouth doesn’t help their client anymore when they are just looking for a contract.

  15. bigbenh8tr says: May 31, 2013 9:21 AM

    IN OZZIE WE TRUST?

  16. golfongrass311 says: May 31, 2013 9:38 AM

    oh thats right he’s Joe Cool

  17. larrydavid7000 says: May 31, 2013 10:18 AM

    Sure you did you Clown. What a LOSER now you are paying almost double the amount for at least 3 years. Great front office. Who’s your salary cap expert the 3 stooges.

  18. ridingwithnohandlebars says: May 31, 2013 10:40 AM

    I like how “things did not work out in the Ravens’ favor” because they won the Super Bowl.

  19. mclovinib says: May 31, 2013 11:05 AM

    SUPERBOWL MVP JOE FLACCO…that says it all…..

  20. CKL says: May 31, 2013 11:11 AM

    Its funny Flacco told him he doesn’t care about his critics. He had made several comments before this past season showing he does care. Such as the one where he basically said “no one gives me any credit when we win”, “I’m elite” etc. If you truly don’t care you laugh that stuff off. He cared. Now that he has the big money, he probably doesn’t care though.

  21. titansbro says: May 31, 2013 11:20 AM

    Hats off to Flacco. Still don’t think he’s a top 5 QB but he did work in the playoffs this year. Can’t argue that.

  22. thestrategyexpert says: May 31, 2013 11:26 AM

    I agree it was a reasonably smart and calculated gamble for the Ravens to take, but the problem is the overall deal. They still are overpaying him well beyond what he’s worth to a massive tune. If you take that financial penalty away and then actually trade him to get a massive haul while removing that huge negative financial anchor, then that’s a tremendous way to improve the franchise. This is where the mistake was.

    And congratulations to everybody that thinks my way is crazy because they can’t separate the objective from the subjective analysis, but I could care less about a couple million bucks here and there, especially when it was priced in appropriately for the gamble.

    The BIG issue is giving him the massive overpayment in either year. They were forced to trade him in order to get the best possible deal, and TWO TIMES they failed at figuring this out!

    Not to mention they didn’t really even win that Super Bowl since they got fairly lucky a number of times, including flat out being given a gift. In my mind, the Ravens won the bet if they didn’t think he would have won the SB last year.

  23. 4thqtrsaint says: May 31, 2013 12:10 PM

    I still don’t know why QBs are measured by some in wins. Like Flacco’s wins are because of him alone. How many of those wins belong to Rice, to the D, to Special Teams? Wins are the product of teams, not just QBs.

    That being said, I’ve liked Flacco since he was drafted. Been rooting for him since day one.

  24. purplereign2 says: May 31, 2013 12:40 PM

    @ thestrategyexpert: I’m confused. If we didn’t win the superbowl, what is this extra trophy doing at the bank that says XLVII?

    Weird.

  25. germanstingray says: May 31, 2013 1:32 PM

    Anything that Nestor says needs to be viewed with skepticism.

  26. jacktheraven says: May 31, 2013 1:32 PM

    When the team you hate wins a SB, the first thing out of your mouth is “luck”. Ravens got LUCKY, every play, for 4 straight games? You really sound foolish.

  27. scoobies05 says: May 31, 2013 1:43 PM

    spaeth, cotchery, burress. and steeler fans comment on other teams’ front offices. now thats funny

  28. jackericsson says: May 31, 2013 2:40 PM

    Who’s this Bisciotti fellow? I thought Charlie Batch owned the Ravens!

  29. thesteelers says: May 31, 2013 3:39 PM

    Steeler Nation owns the Ravens LOLOLOLOLY

  30. Nofoolnodrool says: May 31, 2013 3:39 PM

    jacktheraven | May 31, 2013, 1:32 PM EDT
    When the team you hate wins a SB, the first thing out of your mouth is “luck”. Ravens got LUCKY, every play, for 4 straight games? You really sound foolish.

    You sound foolish not to see that luck plays a part in every SB winning teams journey to get the ring. Six Lombardi’s had their share of luck as did the ravens two. Wasnt all luck ….even someone as obtuse as you Jack know better… So stop with the insecurity …you are the champs..just don’t be such a sensitive chump.

  31. jacktheraven says: May 31, 2013 3:55 PM

    If you’re just going to say that “luck” win games, then why bother? Either ALL teams are lucky or NO teams are lucky. Just depends on how you look at it. Personally, I don’t believe it wins games. Not the steelers 6 Championships or Baltimore’s 6.

  32. Nofoolnodrool says: May 31, 2013 4:30 PM

    @jack the raven. Let me go real slow for you just luck does not win games alone. But to say you win without some luck is very narrow minded. Tell me Harrison’s 99 yard pick six wasnt a very lucky play? What about 4th and 29. Ben to Holmes in the corner etc. to say the ravens won solely on luck is crazy, but say luck helped some is not.

  33. logicalvoicesayz says: May 31, 2013 7:26 PM

    Wait so let me get this straight. The original contract offer was for 90 million unguaranteed which probably would have been restructured at some point as well.

    The actual contract is for 120.6 unguaranteed, with 50 guaranteed. So if after 50 they restructure, isn’t all this hooplah just over a theoretical 70 million that will never exchange hands?

    How is that dumb on the Ravens part?

    They could just restructure at the same breakpoint they intended to restructure at with the 90 million contract.

  34. thestrategyexpert says: May 31, 2013 10:42 PM

    purplereign2:

    That trophy is the SB trophy that was unfairly given to your team. Thus not a trophy your team actually won on their own.

    But I clarified exactly this point in my post. So what’s weird is why you made that comment when that point was already clearly established.

    And further weird that 6 people so far Liked your post that can’t seem to follow that logic. Double weird. Oh well, that’s football fans for you. Maybe you guys could collectively run the Ravens in the future!

  35. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jun 1, 2013 1:35 AM

    No quarterback in history has been carried more than his teammates and enjoyed blind dumb luck than Joe Flacco. Ravens fans who love to throw out “gotcha lines” like “No QB has more regular season + postseason wins since he came into the nil” are so cute when they think they’ve “got us now!” Ask yourself one honest questions: how many of those wins has Flacco REALLY been responsible for? Why it’s 4th and 29, and time to throw a one-yard dump off! Hey it worked, we converted, I must be a great QB, huh?

    Then they have the nerve to compare him with true greats with lines like “11 Tds in postseason Super Bowl run, tied with Montana for most ever.” You know I wonder, did Montana ever enjoy one of those underthrown specials like Flacco threw to Jones in Denver, and again in the Super Bowl?

  36. Joemontanaflacco says: Jun 1, 2013 9:16 AM

    Why are all these Steeler fans running their yappers about a done deal? It’s the weekend. Shouldn’t they be vacationing down by the riv…OH GOD THE RIVER IS ON FIRE AGAIN!

  37. dhudge says: Jun 1, 2013 9:24 AM

    In reality, it’s only a 3 yr deal because the Ravens won’t be able to afford Flacco’s salary cap hit in yrs 4-6 of the contract. So, yea, the Ravens lost the gamble, but I’m not sure they really lost as much $ as every one’s claiming they lost?

  38. jacktheraven says: Jun 1, 2013 3:26 PM

    You call it luck. I call it football. Relax dude.

  39. jacktheraven says: Jun 1, 2013 3:28 PM

    Read my previous post about “luck. Ampatsisah, another hater, calls it ” blind luck”. he just proves my point.

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