Teams were contemplating a franchise-tag run at Flacco before the postseason

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Need more proof that the Ravens would be foolish to expose quarterback Joe Flacco to limited free agency via the non-exclusive franchise tag?

Consider this:  Some teams already were contemplating the possibility of making a run at Flacco in exchange for two first-round picks even before he put together a postseason that has put him at the pinnacle of his profession.

Great quarterbacks in their prime never become available in free agency.  Even if getting the player requires giving up a pair of first-round picks, it’s a small price to pay for taking very good care of the most important position on the roster for years to come.

So with the Ravens in more than a bit of a cap mess and with teams like the Browns having more than $40 million in spending space for 2013, a decision to do anything other than apply the exclusive franchise tag means that a team like the Browns could fashion a front-loaded deal with, say, a $40 million 2013 roster bonus that the Ravens could never be able to match without cutting half the players under contract and signing no one in free agency.

And with the exclusive franchise tag requiring the Ravens to set aside more than $20 million in cap space as of March 12 (the number could go down before or after that date as other quarterbacks restructure their deals), the only good way out of this mess will be for the Ravens to sign Flacco to a contract that pays him what he wants under a structure that entails manageable cap numbers until the salary cap spikes in 2015.

The deadline for application of the franchise tag is March 4.  Which is only 22 days away.

62 responses to “Teams were contemplating a franchise-tag run at Flacco before the postseason

  1. Signing Flacco is going to be pricey for the Ravens, might even cost them another championship nect season via loss of their current players.

  2. Flacco aside, I can’t get over 20 mil per year to play a sport. I have played and coached football, not hating on players making 20 mil a year if they can get it.

    My thing is when will yearly salaries in the NFL level off? 20 mil a year and up, just doesn’t seem sustainable. Just like real estate, when will the NFL bubble burst?

  3. Would it really be such a bad thing to lose Flacco to a team like Cleveland, while recovered back-to-back top 3 picks?

  4. Two questions:
    1) What teams?

    2)Why would Flacco want tomleave the defending Super Bowl champions and weapons like Ray Rice and Torre Smith to go to a crappy team that just crippled itself with a massive contract for him + losing two first round picks?

  5. The Browns have a good pick this year, but the Ravens don’t even have a backup QB. They have no choice but to pay the man. If he wants more than $75m over 5 years take the picks and start rebuilding now. 2 first rounders 2 years in a row should give them a very good start. The Browns are more than a QB away from contention, so next years picks should be pretty good as well. I would rather sacrifice Joe than strip the team bare to sign him. They would probably win the same number of games either way. KC, on the other hand, could be only a QB away.

  6. srbumblebeeman says: Feb 10, 2013 11:27 AM

    Wonder who “leaked” this info? Flacco’s agent sure is working his tail off on this one.


    You might be right about this one. Joe Linta taking plays right out of the Scott Boras book.

  7. @wethog– as long as the TV money keeps getting bigger and bigger and the owners keep getting richer and richer, players’ salaries will keep going up, too.

  8. Exactly, thanks for making my point that they drafted Pierce to bail them out on the ground because Ray Rice is nearing the end of his productive life cycle. I did not say Pierce was a lucky pick, just lucky to have a rb pick up the slack when it mattered most. It’s no secret Ray Rice’s production has been on a downward trend for the past couple years. (See Ahmad Bradshaw)

  9. forreels says:

    It’s no secret Ray Rice’s production has been on a downward trend for the past couple years. (See Ahmad Bradshaw)


    Oh really? Is that why Rice had the most yards from scrimmage during the 2011-2012 season? Because he’s declining? Granted his 2012-2013 wasn’t as successful as the year before, but the bar was set pretty high.

  10. to say flacco is not elite is a subject for debate. but whats not debatable is that the ravens won a super bowl with him and not in spite of him. he is coming off one of the all time great qb post seasons ever…11 tds and 0 ints. only a complete and utter fool would call joe flacco a bust. oh..hi benroethlisberger7. thanks for making my arguement

  11. If Cleveland had Flacco they would immediately contend for first in the AFCn. Without Flacco (or a very good substitute and I can’t even imaging who is available) ravens will contend for last place. Ravens will sign Flacco, bet on it. They know what they are doing.

  12. come on…this is easy. particularly for a well managed team like balt with a good decision maker like ozzie newsome. the ravens with flacco may face challenges, both financial and personnel. but the ravens without flacco will flat out stink. end of discussion.

  13. Like I said before in order for teams to make a run at him he has to be willing to leave Baltimore. Flacco doesn’t sound like a man that is even considering moving on.

  14. Not to worry..Ozzie will sign our franchise quarterback for the next ten years…there will be NO TAG and Cleveland will suck for the next twenty years.

  15. Now you guys have to understand this is a “tactic” by a lot of teams, not just the browns. The ravens know what is coming. If they worry about losing their QB and sign him, they will lose other key players that other teams want. They sign the other players, they will lose their QB (if this story is true). Other teams know what they are doing, and are sending fake signals that they want Flacco, just so the Ravens mess up and have to give up other good players.

  16. Come people, there is no comparison right now between Rice and Pierce. Pierce is the back up for a reason.

  17. I think most people here are answering the most important question: would the Browns still suck with Flacco? I think we can all agree the answer is probably yes. Now would the Browns suck with Peyton, Brady or Rodgers? I think we can all agree they’d be a lot better, and most likely a playoff team.

    So if al, that’s true then it’s pretty clear Flacco is not elite! So paying him like he is rather than just like a guy who had a terrific playoff run, and basically crippling your salary cap would be a horrible mistake.

    Flacco is a modern day Jeff Hostetler not Joe Montana.

  18. I’ve always believed from day one that Flacco is not an elite quarterback, but never doubted we could win a Super Bowl WITH him, not despite him. I don’t see why it’s hard to believe that other teams with sub-par quarterbacks wouldn’t at least consider making a run at Flacco if he were available.

  19. Good for Flacco. He’s going to financially hamstring the Ravens and make sure they won’t be winning any more championships in the immediate future. I love it when management and a fan base get all caught up in the happiness of winning a championship and mortgage their future away.

    Flacco is nowhere near elite but he’s going to turn this bogus Super Bowl win into the Armageddon of the Baltimore Ravens. Good job Flacco. Good job.

    Raven are the most bogus Super Bowl champion this league has ever seen. With Goodall helping them along the way by not suspending Ed Reed and Ray Ray for cheating and illegal hits.

  20. So many teams spend years, a lot of draft picks, and a lot of money looking for a franchise quarterback. Just ask the Dolphins what it is like finding a franchise quarterback. So Flacco is definitely worth two 1st round draft picks. If he was on the Browns next season then one of the draft picks will not be a top ten draft pick. I doubt the Ravens would take any chance of losing him. In the NFL, MLB, and NBA the single most important position is starting QB. When you have a franchise QB you do not risk losing him.

  21. where did you get this info, florio? i don’t see any link or mention of a source to corroborate your story. please consider being more diligent next time before you just whimsically toss out theories. one of the more lazy posts i’ve seen from you, and thats saying something.

  22. With all the people ravens gonna let go this offseason. They gonna look like the browns anyway so why not let flacco go get the 2 picks n trade for Alex smith then see if u can get fitzgerald with picks or see if u can sign Wallace from steelers he’s a free agent n browns need wr. Browns have a back in Trent he was good this past yr even with 8 in the box

  23. I think Ozzie and the Ravens didn’t look too much into the potential teams that need QB’s and have a lot of cap space. Not a good position to be in right now Ozzie! Should’ve done a deal last year. Would’ve saved you a ton of money and not expose him at all.

  24. I’ve always thought that Joe Flacco is a lot better than most people give him credit for, but this notion that he should be paid as the #1 QB in the league is just idiotic. In the end, if the Ravens are smart, they should take the highest QB contract as a benchmark, and then make him an offer for a contract that pays out about 80-85% of that. He’s a good player who can make a lot of big throws in big games, but he will never be the kind of QB that can carry a weak team like guys like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady can do.

  25. please explain how the ravens are a bogus superbowl champ. because i didnt realize that existed. what a joke of a post. and whether or not people believe flacco is elite is irrelevent. he led the ravens to the title and thats all that matters. its w what have you done for me lately league. this years top free agent sets the bar. next year it will be someone else. it has very little to do with who is the so called best. go ravens!

  26. Contrary to popular opinion you don’t need an elite QB to win a Super Bowl. Trent Dilfer and Jim McMahon won SBs. What you need is a GOOD QB. He just doesn’t have to be great. Teams like the Chiefs, Cardinals and Bills don’t have a good one. They have bad ones. So the acquisition of Flacco who is good could turn those teams around. It would be the equivalent of picking up Phillip Rivers basically. If you already have a good defense and a running game it could put a team over the top.

  27. Whether you like Flacco or not, this is a QB driven league. The Ravens would be better off, long term to over pay him rather than lose him. Who’s going to replace him?

  28. In case you didn’t notice, Raveds D wasn’t that great. Couldn’t stop the run, or Kapernick. It took Ravens O, and Joe F., to continue on 3rd down. Check their 3rd down eff. That’s why Ravens won and Joe was MVP.

  29. If I were the Ravens I would franchise him and take the two first round picks. I think the coaching there has more to do with his individual abilities. They can find another quarterback just as good as captain check down if they need to. The money they are going to give him is going to hurt the team more than it will help.

  30. If you have a top 5 QB (salary) you will not be able to compete without hitting on almost every draft pick (cheap labor). It suck for the Ravens and if Kap keeps playing so well it’ll suck for the Niners eventually

  31. I can see in 3 or 4 years… quarterbacks will account for 40% of the teams salary caps. Because the NFL has it set up this way. What is stopping someone like Aaron Rodgers from topping the deal that Flacco gets (assuming 23 to 25 million)? If Flacco is worth 23 million, Rodgers has to be worth AT LEAST 30 million. And who is after Rodgers??? Stafford??? He’s going to command 32 million. QBs use to get half of the money, now they are getting all of the money.

  32. People please stop complaining about atheletes making a lot of money. They should get all they can.

    Nobody complains when Tom Cruise is making 20 million plus a movie, and he’s not even risking his life.

  33. The Browns should make a run at Flacco. Either the Browns get Flacco, or the Ravens have to cut players and use up their cap to keep Flacco. Either result is a win for the Browns and a loss for the Ravens.

  34. With all these stories about the urgency for the ravens to sign flacco, it makes me wonder if Florio is on flacco’s agent’s payroll. We get it, the ravens should sign him and pay him 130 for 6 years or else the world will implode. Or so it seems

  35. Hey, Steeler fans, RAVENS are Super Bowl Champions, and you will contend for third place in the division next year! Face the facts, you can hate all you want, but the Ravens are World Champions and there is nothing you can (or will) do about it! New sheriff in town!

  36. Bottom line: I don’t judge QBs on one playoff stretch. If I were doing that — like the media and many fans — Flacco would be banging on the door to the top 5. I base my judgement on seeing Flacco play for several years — sometimes great sometimes awful — as well as all the other QBs listed and a bit on career stats and recent career stats, but only to an extent.

    Flacco could eventually become elite. When Brady won his first Super Bowl he was not considered elite by any stretch.

  37. @ravens4fr….congrats you are indeed the champions….in less time it took you to when your second the Steelers went to three and have won 6….for slow ravens fans 2times 3 equals 6….you may be the sheriff but the Steelersmare definatly the Marshall and you’ll always be the lil brother..three times the Steelers have won 2 superbowls in less than a 5year stretch and you’ve never done it once in a 12 year stretch…..we shall see what next year brings lil brother….I mean cough sherriff.

  38. you Steelers fans make me laugh. Yeah I’ll admit it, I’m a Browns fan, but so what, we don’t run our chops all the time.All you guys talk about is the past, just like Cowboys fans. What matters is the present, not the past, and in the present, the Steelers suck. IT ain’t a 1 year off year, they need to completely re-tool, and after what Flacco does to the Ravens with his contract, they will too. Sadly, it looks like the Bengals who will sneak into the lead. Plus talking about “slow Ravens fans” when you have the writing skills of a 1st grader doesn’t make you sound too bright yourself.

  39. I think it would be a smart move by us(browns). But I think we are forgetting Joe Banner is running things. He isn’t blowing the whole salary cap and our draft on Flacco.

  40. Welcome to the Salary Cap Era of the NFL. When teams have success, their payrolls start to bloat and the team sinks under it’s own weight.

    The only way to be consistently successful in the NFL is to draft well, sign good players to reasonable extensions early, and let some of your stars go when they reach the peak of their earning potential.

    The Steelers and Eagles did a nice job of that for awhile, and it appears that Indianapolis is seeing the light. The NFL has made it a tough, tough business to stay competitive…

  41. “The only way to be consistently successful in the NFL is to draft well, sign good players to reasonable extensions early, and let some of your stars go when they reach the peak of their earning potential.”

    hmmm…that strategy sound awfully familiar…

  42. Flacco is overrated, Hope the Ravens overpay for him and he blows the rest of his career. I’d rather take my chances with weeden and keep the draft picks. the browns will be atop the afc north soon enough, as the ravens will take a hit after overpaying for the unibrow, the bengals will remain a wildcard team at best, and the steelers well I think we all know they are going nowhere fast. So go sign Flacco whatever he wants Baltimore, he’s not needed in Cleveland.

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