Ravens will use franchise tag only on Flacco, supposedly


The looming contract talks between the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco entail various levels of leverage and nuance.

One of the most obvious realities of getting a long-term deal finalized before March 4 is that doing so would allow the Ravens to apply the franchise tag to someone other than Flacco.  Which gives Flacco an advantage when it comes to finding a solution.

The Ravens have countered that point by taking the public position that they won’t use the franchise tag on any other player.

“We get a deal done with Joe, we will not franchise another player,” G.M. Ozzie Newsome said recently. “We will not do that.”

And then he turned to owner Steve Bisciotti and said, “You are OK with that, right?”

And then Bisciotti took a page from a fellow, but fictitious, Italian and said, “Absolutely.”

Though it may indeed be the truth, the comment has to be interpreted in light of the broader context.  If the Ravens won’t be using the franchise tag on cornerback Cary Williams or linebacker Dannell Ellerbe or linebacker Paul Kruger or safety Ed Reed, the Ravens have no added incentive to do a long-term deal with Flacco.

The far bigger incentive for the Ravens is the lower cap number that comes from a long-term contract with Flacco.  The non-exclusive franchise tag will tie up $14.6 million, and the exclusive tag will account for roughly $20 million.  Signing Flacco to a long-term deal will then give the Ravens the cap space to do other deals, regardless of whether they’ll be using the franchise tag to hold another free agent in place until his deal is done.

33 responses to “Ravens will use franchise tag only on Flacco, supposedly

  1. that headline just gave me a mini heart attack thinking that it meant theyve decided not to use the exclusive tag on Flacco

  2. I don’t think the Ravens could reasonably afford a long term contract for Flacco and tagging another player.

  3. I know that our front office will handle this situation effectively. 5 straight playoff appearances, 3 AFC championship appearances, and a Super Bowl title in 5 years. The Ravens are the model of success in professional sports.

  4. It would be hilarious if someone else signed him.

    Joe had the guts to put off talks until after the season.
    Then went flawless in the playoffs and won Super Bowl MVP.

    Pay up you stupid Ravens you lost the gamble.

    Jerry Jones?

  5. I have all the respect in the world for Ozzie Newsome. But, seriously. The Ravens gambled by not signing Flacco to a long-term contract earlier. He is now the reigning Super Bowl MVP. He is in the driver’s seat, not the Ravens. Cut the crap and just pay the man.

  6. Their window just closed. This past year WAS their last year to get it done and they did just that.

    Age and expensive players just caught up with them.

  7. It wasn’t all the Ravens, Joe has admitted that they offered him a fair deal. He turned it down because he thought he could perform well this season. The Ravens gambled by not breaking the bank but if they already offered 14million it would have been stupid to spend more and would be mocked for overspending prior to this season

  8. You people that gave ravensdominate a thumbs down must be Patriots or Steelers fans. It’s ridiculous that you can’t give respect when it’s due, yet fans around the league always give you guys the proper respect. I’ve never seen a more self righteous fan base in all my freakin’ life. Pats fans I understand you’re still upset that we’ve beaten you a couple of times up there in big games and we’re becoming your arch rival in the AFC. Truth is, you have bragging rights, you are the big dog, but the tide is changing as Brady gets older. You still gotta respect a team that has won 140 games since the start of the 2000 season though. Jeez! Only 4 teams have done that. Steeler fan, you should be ashamed of yourself, constantly waiving that antiquated hardware in our faces. I mean good God, four of them are as old as Ron Jeremy’s porn stache. Don’t give me this kiss the rings bullcrap. We have just as many rings as you since 1980. You talking smack to us is like a Notre Dame fan talking smack to an Alabama fan. Real recognize Real, and we’ll see you next season.

  9. Trust me, It’s not even up for question. I’ve watched the “State of the Ravens” press conference four times (sad, I know), and Ozzie along with owner Bisciotti were very adamant that they will NOT use it on anyone other than Flacco.

    I expect Boldin to sadly be cut (or at least restructured), Carey Williams to be let go, given the depth at corner with a healthy Webb, Smith, Graham, and Chykie Brown, and Ellerbe to be offered a decent but not enough contract. Kruger will be run at hard by Ozzie, and I wouldn’t even be surprised to see Suggs restructured or even cut to make room for Krug’s new deal.

  10. The front office is staying one step ahead of Flacco. They should talk to his receivers about getting 3 or 4 steps ahead. Though General Underthrow takes most of that credit.

  11. For people who are saying the Ravens lost the gamble they didn’t they offered Joe a contract 16 million too I believe he turned it down thinking he deserved more, I still think they Franchise him for one more because a hot playoff run while great doesn’t make people forget about his up and down reg season.

  12. It’s almost funny how misinformed these reports of the Ravens being in cap trouble. Even if Flacco is tagged they will get a long term deal done with him sooner rather than later. The Ravens will lose a few players but still have s strong core to keep them in contention. Plus having a great GM like Ozzie Newsome who keeps the team stocked with good draft picks will help with the few players lost. 5 straight years in the playoffs ( and probably six this season) is something some teams wish they had. If you want to hear about a team that has to slash and burn? Check out the Steelers! They are like 25 million over the cap (due to manipulating contracts to keep older players.) Also they haven’t had much success with recent drafts and letting go of Arians for Haley was an obviously bad move. 8-8 This past season, and I’m thinking 7-9 this season. Downward Spiral indeed.

  13. Jim Harbaugh calling for a fade instead of running against a gassed defense earned Flacco millions of dollars.

    God, I love football.

  14. I find it hard to believe they really wouldn’t use the tag on someone else if they signed Flacco to a cap friendly long term deal. You’re telling me they wouldn’t lock down Ellerbe or Kruger if they had the chance? They’re talking about letting Suggs go, Ray Lewis retired, then they let those two go? do they want any continuity at linebacker at all? Then Ed Reed may be off to another team too… Where’s the leadership on that defense? Pollard and Ngata? They need a locker room presence on the defensive side of the ball that can somewhat resemble what ray ray did for them. I say throw 18 million per year for 8 years at Flacco with a big signing bonus and deferred money to the season when the salary cap spikes, keep Suggs and franchise one of the other two. I guess Ozzie knows better than I do though…

  15. I gotta agree that it would be entertaining as heck to see some other team come out and offer the sky for Flacco just to watch the ravens brass choke on their spit. I still don’t believe that he is “all that” but time will tell…

  16. The ravens and 49ers just proved that you don’t get to the Super Bowl by killing a quarter of your Cap room on a quarterback.

    Yes, it looks foolish to let go of a guy who just played as well as flacco did in the playoffs. But all you have to do is see the last half of football he played to realize no QB will be perfect all the time. And flacco certainly was to blame for the regular season struggles.

    He has potential, but when the money gets that high… It’s probably better spent on more players than just one.

    I think the patriots are realizing this which is why they drafted some quarterbacks recently.

    Running backs have now realized they won’t ever get the huge deals they used to. It’s about time for quarterbacks to realize the same.

    You are expendable and there are other players out there who will take less.

  17. Suggesting Suggs will be cut is the most moronic thing I’ve read on this site (and that’s saying something)

  18. Congrats to the Ravens and their fans on the super bowl. I think ozzie will find a way to get things done. Its about time to hear from the steeler trolls now.

  19. If Flacco gets the non-exclusive tag, the Cleveland Browns will have their next QB! The Ravens wouldn’t be able to match Cleveland’s offer sheet, because Cleveland is so far under the cap, and could offer him a front end $40 Million guaranteed! They are about the only team that could afford to do that.

  20. Call his bluff and let him FA and let some other te sign him to the big contract. This deal looks like the A- Rod Yankees deal. Over paying for a player and they will regret it soon. Draft a new QB and franchise Flacco and let him walk after next year. Without all the players around Flacco he is a OK QB. Shoot he is an OL QB with all those parts around him now. But go ahead and break the bank for him and lose the rest of the players, you will probably not see the playoffs again. Without Boldin and his hands the Ravens would have been out in the first round.

  21. Here’s why this is still a gamble: last off-season Flacco demanded top five money, was barely offered top five money, and still turned it down. All the while still being known as the textbook definition of”inconsistency.”

    The team took a gamble by letting Cameron go just to determine if the problem was Joe or his coordinator. Turns out it was the coordinator.

    Now, the Ravens are stuck with a guy who wants Brady or Brees-like money, but isn’t the kinda guy who lifts the performance of otherwise mediocre players around him. He thrives with others’ talent – talent you’ll have a hard time affording with such a huge gulp in between.

  22. In all honesty, I rooted for the Ravens(Afc North Champs). Flacco played very well in the playoffs but wasn’t great in the Super Bowl. He threw alot of ball up for grabs. Should’ve had a few ints if the niners 2ndary played even average ball.
    However, it’s a shame that A qb can cripple an entire team because they make sooo much money. I would never pay any qb 20 million/year. Never

  23. ravenseattheirownpoop says: Feb 11, 2013 8:51 AM

    “Flacco played very well in the playoffs but wasn’t great in the Super Bowl.”

    Stats say different. 22 of 33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns, no ints. And if you know football, at the professional level, a QB sometimes has to put faith in the receiver to come down with the ball. The QBs job is give the receiver the best chance. That’s why Boldin has been a beast.

  24. Listening to the Ravens talk in the last few days I feel like they might lose Flacco.

    With Lewis leaving and possibly other key defenders they don’t have that much without Flacco. They have try their best to sign him now and if not then use the Exclusive Franchise tag and suck up the financial impact. Anything else is really stupid.

  25. lovefootball4life says:
    Feb 11, 2013 10:15 AM
    ravenseattheirownpoop says: Feb 11, 2013 8:51 AM

    “Flacco played very well in the playoffs but wasn’t great in the Super Bowl.”

    Stats say different. 22 of 33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns, no ints. And if you know football, at the professional level, a QB sometimes has to put faith in the receiver to come down with the ball. The QBs job is give the receiver the best chance. That’s why Boldin has been a beast.


    No, Flacco had a good FIRST HALF of the Super Bowl. He was outscored 24-6 (of course this doesn’t include the kickoff return or safety).

    Following the bread crumb trail all the way back to the Broncos game, Flacco was bailed out by his WRs time and time again.

    Boldin, Jacoby, etc were the REAL MVPs of the Ravens postseason. Flacco was just a cog.

    Newsom understands this and that is why this issue is even being debated.

  26. @ reed20fence.

    That sir was a well thought out post i agree 100%
    Joe needs to understand that the NFL is the ultimate in team sports. So before he goes and breaks the bank he may want to leave some cash around to keep the guys that made him look alot better than what i really think he is. F0r example boldin’ smith’ jones’ and pita who BTW are one of the best if not the best group of recivers in the NFL.

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