Ravens likely will gamble with Flacco, again

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In 2012, the Ravens gambled on quarterback Joe Flacco and lost.  By winning the Super Bowl.

Now, another gamble could be coming, with higher stakes and a lower reward.

The Ravens must decide by March 4 whether to use the exclusive or non-exclusive version of the franchise tag on Flacco.  The non-exclusive tag will entail a tender of roughly $14.6 million for 2013.  The exclusive level would push the tender, under current calculations of 2013 quarterback cap numbers, to $20.464 million.

In addition to the cap-dollars gap of nearly $6 million, the exclusive tag would, if Flacco opted to sign the tender and adopt a one-year-at-a-time approach, translate to more than $80 million over the next three seasons.

The current speculation, buzz, rumors (whatever) at the Scouting Combine point to the Ravens using the non-exclusive tag while negotiations on a long-term deal continue.  The Ravens then would request, hope, pray (whatever) that Flacco would bring any other offer sheet he gets back to the Ravens before signing it.

This strategy would entail plenty of risk.  It’s one thing to ask, hope, pray (whatever) that Flacco would bring back an offer sheet before signing it.  It’s quite another for Flacco to do it — especially if any team that plans to pursue Flacco realizes that a full-court press must be employed, aimed at getting Flacco to sign an offer sheet the Ravens can’t or won’t match.

The chances of Flacco leaving Baltimore remain small; Ravens assistant G.M. Eric Decosta told Pro Football Talk recently that the likelihood is “negligible.”  Still, DeCosta declined to commit to the team using the exclusive tag.

If the Ravens roll the dice with the non-exclusive number, the situation then will fall out of their control.  And if Flacco signs an offer sheet, the situation then will fall out of his.

And while 99 percent of the media will continue to presume there’s a 100-percent chance Flacco will be back in Baltimore, it’s impossible to lose sight of the one-percent possibility that the Ravens will gamble and lose . . . again.

44 responses to “Ravens likely will gamble with Flacco, again

  1. Flacco has all the leverage and I can see this dragging on well into training camp and the Ravens will use the tag until a deal is done…Let the drama begin

  2. Very unlikely that him, or anyone else gets franchised three times…I may be wrong, but I don’t think it has ever happened.
    And why only bring it up with Flacco?

  3. The biggest gamble here isn’t whether Flacco is worth 20M a year, but believing that he can even come close to replicating the performance he had in the playoffs.

    He went from very average to spectacular in a very short period of time.

  4. I’m a Saints fan. And, Ravens fans I’m sorry but this has all the makings of a Drew Breeze issue. Joe will be a Raven but it’s going to cost you to lose a lot of good football players.

  5. So, the reason players strive to win the Championship now is to use the team’s victory as leverage for a personal pay raise? Cry me a river, Joe. 14.6M and a largely intact Super Bowl quality roster to play with? Even De Smith would take that deal.

  6. I really hope he ends up on another team so people can see he’s not that good.

    Meanwhile the ravens will prove they actually built a TEAM and made flacco more than he made them.

    They’ll probably make the playoffs again this year no matter who they end up starting at QB.

  7. @ benroethlisberger7

    Ravens own the AFCN the last two seasons, Ravens own 3 of the past 4 meeteings against the Steelers, and own this year’s Lombardi Trophy.

    Think about that. Live in the now…

  8. The only team that could afford a front loaded first two years of a contract, is the Cleveland Browns. The Browns could conceivably give him almost $30 Million the first and second year, and no other team would be able to match it. The Bills would have to mortgage their entire defense, with Mario’s fattened salary hit.

  9. “Can teams still enter poison pill sections into contracts?”

    Not like before, but they can severely front-load a contract which would blow-up the Ravens cap for 2013. They’re already tight, and forcing a huge payout for 2013 would cause them to jettison a LOT of core players.

  10. I love it. Oz is the man. He will not be taken ransom. Joe wants to win and he can’t do that going anywhere but Baltimore. Oh and Steeler fans, third place is your new norm. Get used to it.

  11. Of course, Flacco has the option of NOT signing the tender until week 10. He’d lose money, but the Ravens would lose a hell of a lot of games. They’d still be on the hook for millions, pro rata, and they would see how bad their other options are.

    Flacco would then still get credit for the year. It would be hard ball for Flacco to pull this off but that’s the way the owners approach it.

  12. Ok, I’ve got to chime in here. I’m not a ravens fan…far from it actually. I am a bronco fan still smarting from that loss in the playoffs. I also like the steelers more than the ravens. So, I have every reason to trash this team. But I won’t. Why? Because they won the Super Bowl! And because they deserved to. They walked into Denver and New England and beat them both and then followed that by knocking off a great niners team. They deserve to be lauded. So when I read that stupid stupid stupid comment from benroethlisburger7 saying the steelers own the ravens, I want to pull my hair out. Really? Your team was 8-8 and MISSED the playoffs. You do not own the ravens! What planet are you on? The steelers were a decent team but they are old and probably in decline. The ravens are just a better team and probably will be for a while before the steelers catch up again. It’s ok. It happens. San Diego owned Denver for a while and now it’s flipped. It will flip back again at some point. It’s football. Stop saying dumb things. You look like the biggest fool on this site. Be objective, realistic, and thoughtful. You and that logicalvoice character make football fans look bad.

  13. just because Cleveland could offer 30M in year 1 and 2 doesn’t mean he would have to take it. if total guaranteed money (which is all that matters anyway) is close or equal i doubt hes going to pack up and go to the browns over getting a few million dollars earlier rather than later

    and yes im very aware of the time value of money

  14. The Bills have a chance to win with a great QB, the Browns have no chance at all. That’s why Flacco will probably be a Buffalo Bills player next year, $25 Million the first year will probably handle it.

  15. The brothers will work together. Ravens will let Flacco walk for 2 first round picks and then trade a second to SF for Alex Smith. That saves them between 8-12 million this year and gives them the tools to replace some of their aging players.

  16. The Ratbirds are send Flacco mixed messages.
    ” we love you and think you are an elite franchise qb! However, we don’t want to pay you like one.”
    How stupid can you be! I hope they piss around and lose this guy!!! I will LMFAO!!!!

  17. Balt is already over the projected sal cap and has 13 UFA’s, including 8-10 starters. They are between a rock and a hard place. They say nothing is harder than winning a SB than repeating. Ravens would do well to even get back to the playoffs next year – with or without Flacco.

  18. I love Flacco, but I’m not willing to cripple the team talentwise for the next 5 or 6 years to keep him. If Cleveland or KC want to give up 2 firsts and then pay him $30 million in the first year, I say take the pick and move on. I really don’t think Joe wants to lose in Cleveland for the next 5 years.

  19. $80m for three years. Steady now. Flacco will not go the year to year option. His value and leverage are the highest they will ever be right now. Lets say he plays one year on one of the franchise tenders. Next offseason Ravens will have other contracts up and other guys wanting to get paid. They’ll loose some and the team will start to weaken. Flacco has limitations and those limitations are the reason the Ravens were a wild card team in the first place. The longer he plays on short term deals the more likely it will be that we will see stretches of both the good and bad Flacco that remind us he is a top QB in the 5-10th best range. He will sign a long term contract and be overpaid slightly because he has the leverage but I think everybody will end up comfortable with the deal.

  20. Patriots fan here to say to the Ravens this. You are the best team in football. You won the Super Bowl by beating the best of both leagues. If a Steeler fan can not recognize this fact then that person is not facing the reality of the present situation in the AFC. Losing Flaco would not bode well for the future and I doubt the Ravens Org. would make a dumb mistake concerning Joe.

  21. If the Ravens want to have Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Lardarius Webb, and Dannell Ellerbe on their defense, They can’t pay Flacco more than the non-exclusive tag anyway. There are some strong armed kids in the draft and a couple of pretty decent short term solution QBs in free agency. Ozzie won’t gut the team to keep Flacco, but if he is going to lose him, he’ll want those two #1s. If they lose Flacco, they can probably keep Boldin and Leach, although Williams and Krueger are pretty much gone.

  22. Let Flaaco walk please! …. He’s not such an elite player that his presence on the field would make the Ravens worse than the above average team given that they were 9-7 team last year…Give him his money and lose 4 core players or say to hell with him pull a quick one with Alex Smith and a free agent or two with the money saved and keep the team in the hunt like we are used too… or overpay him and surround him with cheap players and a welcome mat at the bottom of the division for the duration of what will surely be a lopsided strangler of a deal for the Ravens….

  23. Any one of the bottom 12-14 teams would be foolish not to go for him and include a poison pill in the contract offer.

    Flacco’s going to have a lot of suitors the moment other teams are allowed to officially talk to his agent. And I think we call all be sure that his agent won’t allow Flacco to sign anything less that a cap destroying, massive contract with the Raves prior to free agency. Any business agent would definitely want Flacco to wait and see what he can get elsewhere.

  24. No one is paying Flacco 25m a year AND giving up two first rounders. The non-exclusive tag will be fine until they can reach an agreement.

    If someone DOES want to pay him 25m a year and the Ravens 2 firsts, the Ravens should take it, grab Alex Smith, and build another awesome team through the draft. The lombardi won this year will keep the fanbase satisfied for a few years anyway.

  25. Owners and coaches always think they are smarter than they really are. More often than not, they wind up outsmarting themselves.
    Flacco produced and earned it so pay him. Simple. Try to get too cute or cheap and you’ll wind up getting burned.

  26. Who are the Ravens going to put in there if they put the non-exclusive tag on and a team like the Browns puts together a contract giving Flacco $30M in 2013? No way on earth can the Ravens match that.

    They GAMBLED that Flacco would not have the year that he did. And while he won the Ravens their 2nd SB, they LOST the bet.

    And really, with Ray Lewis now gone, and a lot of others (Vonte Leach for one) on their way out too, are you REALLY going to take a chance your SB MVP QB could walk?

    Owners don’t hesitate to cut players who get injured. This is Flacco’s only real chance to hit a big payday. If they think he won’t sign another team’s offer sheet, they are delusional. Money talks louder then anything else. And not saying it would happen in 2013, but could you IMAGINE what would happen in Baltimore if he shines for the Browns and they win the division?

    It would be utter chaos in B-More.

  27. congrats to ravens again. ive said it a few times. the steeler trolls make all their fans look bad dont they?

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