When the Ravens signed quarterback Joe Flacco to a six-year, $120.6 million deal three years ago, the cap numbers were structured in a way that clearly would necessitate a revision in 2016, with the cap charge spiking from $14.55 million in 2015 to $28.55 million. The new Flacco deal has no such future moment at which a restructuring will become urgent.
Albert Breer of NFL Media has the salary cap figures, for 2016 through 2021: $22.55 million; $24.55 million; $24.75 million; $26.5 million; $28.25 million; $24.24 million.
With the cap currently going up at a rate of $10 million or more per year, those figures could be middle-of-the-pack for high-end quarterbacks by the time the next decade begins.
The structure of the deal, per Breer, is simple. Flacco gets a $40 million signing bonus, a fully-guaranteed base salary of $4 million in 2016 (which was guaranteed as a practical matter anyway), and non-guaranteed base salaries of $6 million, $12 million, $18.5 million, $20.25 million, and $24.25 million from 2017 through 2021, respectively.
The deal carries $8 million per year in cap charges for the signing bonus, from 2016 through 2020. Another $26 million or so in cash paid to Flacco from 2013 through 2015 also is tucked into the team’s cap figures for the next three seasons. By 2019, Flacco’s cap numbers will be driven only by money paid under the new contract.
Flacco is now under contract through the age of 37. It’s unlikely that he’ll be released for at least the next three years, given the dead money that would hit the cap if he’s cut prematurely. The cap numbers make it very likely that he’ll earn every dollar of the contract, with possibly one more deal coming that would carry him to retirement.