With Rice deal done, Ravens can franchise Flacco . . . but would they?


When franchise-tagged players sign long-term deals, the franchise tag then becomes available for the team to use on other players in the following year.  And so, with the Ravens locking up running back Ray Rice on a long-term deal, they now have the tag available to use on quarterback Joe Flacco in 2013.

It’s a fair point, and plenty of folks are now pointing it out.  But having the tag available for Flacco and using it on Flacco are two different propositions.

Even though the Ravens can tag Flacco, doing so would require them to pay him the average of the five highest-paid players at the quarterback position, a number that likely will exceed $15 million in 2013.  Apart from whether the Ravens think he’s worth that much on a one-year contract, franchise-tag tango lays the foundation for negotiations on a long-term deal premised on what Flacco would earn under a second season of the tag (i.e., 20 percent more than what he makes in 2013) and the third season of the tag (i.e., 44 percent more than what he makes in 2014).

So while the franchise tag secures dibs on the player, it also gives the player dibs on a new universe of contractual expectations.

If they can’t sign Flacco to an acceptable multi-year deal by March, the Ravens possibly would let him hit the market.  Or maybe the Ravens would opt for the transition tag, which would pay him the average of the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks and give the Ravens the right to match any offer sheet he signs.

Regardless, the availability of the tag may be irrelevant to the Ravens, if they ultimately won’t use it.  Thus, the more significant development from Rice’s contract flows from the extra $2.7 million in cap space that hits the team’s salary cap.

They now have $3.3 million in 2012 cap space, and with a few restructurings or an Ed Reed extension, the Ravens would have enough to ink Flacco for the long term before having to resolve the tag-or-no-tag dilemma.

12 responses to “With Rice deal done, Ravens can franchise Flacco . . . but would they?

  1. This “best qb” stuff is making me sick. I challenge any of you people to actually get on youtube and watch the actual interview. Has anyone besides myself even seen the video??? Surely you wouldn’t let the media make up your mind without even hearing it would ya? I challenge you to go watch it and then tell me that you wouldn’t want your QB to say the EXACT SAME THING! Search on youtube “Flacco best QB” go down to the one that title “Flacco tells Glenn & Drew he’s the best QB in NFL”and prove me wrong. Of course you could always continue to just let the media dictate what you say and think about it without even hearing what he said, as that’s the world we live in now.

  2. Am I missing something? Why would using the tag on Rice for 2012 preclude using it on Flacco for 2013? Are we jumping to the conclusion that Rice would still have needed it in 2013?

  3. I don’t even think this is in question. They would 100% franchise Flacco if they can’t agree on a long term deal before then. You don’t let a talent like him hit the open market, he just turned 27 and is entering his 5th season.

  4. Unless Flacco steps up this season and has a fantastic year, Ozzie Newsome is not going to be stupid and franchise him for the average of the top 5 QBs, when Flacco is arguably as low as 15th in the league. Flacco isn’t terrible, but he’s only an average QB – which is better than having a crappy QB, but you won’t win a SB unless lightning strikes. You can keep him and hope the defense leads you to another SB, or you can jettison him in the hopes that a top 5 guy develops and helps win a SB. Mostly he doesn’t have the mental motor to lead an NFL team to a SB. The leadership, passion, and ability to think fast and make decisions (correct ones) isn’t there. He’s a big guy who runs small, but has a cannon that he ocasionally uses to good effect. He can follow a defense or another offensive star, and maybe get lucky and be on a SB winner, but realistic Ravens fans know he’s not going to lead them to one.

  5. yyyass says:
    Jul 17, 2012 2:49 PM
    You can keep him and hope the defense leads you to another SB, or you can jettison him in the hopes that a top 5 guy develops and helps win a SB.

    How is Baltimore going to get a “top 5 guy” when they consistently pick in the back end of the draft?

    Baltimore has a history of drafting the right players for their system. Players go to other teams and they get worse, not better. Flacco fits the system.

    Frankly, I’m just glad that they don’t have a revolving door at QB anymore. Even if the guy ends up with a mediocre career, he’ll still be the best they ever had.

  6. I’d think the transition tag would be more likely than the franchise tag. There are teams that would offer him a good contract, but not likely as much as being franchised would do. Unless another team can set some type of poison pill, they should be able to match any offer.

  7. I am a Ravens fan and I think flacco is average but cam Cameron isnt helping thigs there at all. I ? What he does almost every play. Its like the guy is trying to end Ray rice done forget we have Boldin torey Smith and 2 underused tight ends. There offense package seems very simple to . Just seeMs to me they put themselves in to many 3rd and 9 situations

  8. The Ravens don’t/ didn’t need any extra cap space to do a new contract with Flacco. Since he’s already under contract, the Ravens could sign him to a contract extension that starts next year there for keeping his cap number this year as it is.

  9. Flaccid is going nowhere. He will either sign a long term deal or be franchised. He has provided the only stability the ravens have had at the position for their whole team life. He wins. Period. So what if he is not top five. He is good enough to get deep in the playoffs and was an easy dropped pass from making the big dance. Trust me on this one. Joe will be a raven for the foreseeable future.

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