Linta defends his “Ravens were dumb” comments

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Agent Joe Linta made quite the stir recently by taking shots at the Ravens for not signing quarterback Joe Flacco to a long-term deal before Flacco had the kind of leverage that he parlayed into a six-year, $120.6 million contract — which as a practical matter is a three-year, $62 million deal.

On Tuesday morning, Linta appeared on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore to explain his comments, and to defend them.  Linta said the remark had its roots in speculation that Flacco is “greedy” and that his contract resulted in the purge of veteran players.

“I’d been hearing that for about three months now,” Linta said.  “And after a while you get sick of it because Joe is a consummate pro, he’s a phenomenal player, a great father, a great husband, and a great son.  And to be honest with you in sort of a parental mode I’d kind of gotten sick of the intimations that he was greedy and that type of thing.  And I said, ‘Look, I have no sympathy for the Ravens.  They chose this.  They walked away from the deal in August.’

“Look, they’re brilliant guys.  They won a Super Bowl.  But I thought it was dumb.  Look, if that’s the worst thing that they get called in their existence, then they got a pretty good situation.  They know how I feel.  Everything I was quoted [on], I told them that in August.  This is not news to them.  It’s how I feel.  I’m allowed to have my opinion.”

Linta attributes the uproar over his remarks to the fact that “it was a slow news weekend and people in the media were sensationalizing to get something to talk about.”  While he admits that maybe he should have been a little more politically correct, he insisted that tough talk goes with the territory.

“You don’t think they called me a lot worse that that over the last couple years?” Linta said.  “It’s part of the business.  You argue.  You fight.  You have disagreements.  It’s nothing personal.  [Ravens contract negotiator] Pat Moriarty is welcome in my house every day of the week.  I love the guy.  I absolutely adore that guy.  He’s a pro, he’s a great guy.  I think the world of him.  But we’re allowed to disagree, correct?”

Though someone from USA Today prompted Linta for his opinion, and he provided it, agents and players and anyone else who makes NFL news need to realize that, whether it’s a press release or a response to an unanticipated question, whatever the person says will be scrutinized for news value.  Especially if it comes at a time when things are otherwise slow, via language that seems a blunt or coarse.

Indeed, Linta didn’t merely call the Ravens dumb.  He said that “I’ve never in my life seen a dumber move.”

Linta’s not worried that his ability to work with the Ravens will be affected by his comments.  “If I need to issue a public apology, if I offended them by using the word ‘dumb,’ then so be it.  That’s fine.  Hey, I’m sorry,” Linta said.  “But I’m allowed to have my opinion.  Like I said, they’ve called me a lot worse than that.”

Still, the Ravens haven’t called Linta bad things publicly.  That’s the difference here.  Arguing privately is one thing.  Arguing to the media is another.

Linta definitely isn’t dumb.  He went to Yale.  Deep down, he surely understands that nothing good comes from taking gratuitous potshots in the press.  And he’s trying to minimize the situation to ensure that there won’t be any lingering ill will.

“The bottom line is I do have tremendous respect for them.  I always have.  But am I allowed to disagree with them?  Absolutely.”

We absolutely agree, as long as those disagreements remain private.

63 responses to “Linta defends his “Ravens were dumb” comments

  1. Linta was mostly working with middle of the road clients. The occassional starter but mostly smaller guys you haven’t heard much from over the years. Joe Flacco was his ticket to the big time. Flacco’s contract would be the one to prove to his peers and future players that he knows how to get it done, and help build a solid client base…. and then this. This here? This tells teams and owners that this guy is a pompous jackass who cannot keep it under wraps outside of the meetings. This makes teams worry and cringe simultaneously. Imagine this- Flacco starts receiving crap for what Linta said, and Joe, playing it smart, cuts him loose. Linta’s one shot is now gone and most likely not coming back around. He should’ve never come out and said this now, as it will hurt his potential to land decent to upper-echelon talent down the road. Dumbass.

  2. “Pat Moriarty is welcome in my house every day of the week. I love the guy. I absolutely adore that guy. He’s a pro, he’s a great guy. I think the world of him.”

    Plus, he was fantastic in The Karate Kid.

  3. i think waiting a season cost them about $8 million..
    Flacco is not a top 3 QB.

    When a QB, any QB gets close to 18% of a teams’ salary cap, you need to worry

  4. What exactly is the problem here? An agent thinks a team made a dumb move.?! .

    Stop the presses.

    Move on. Joe is fine. The Ravens are champions of the universe. Time to go repeat.

  5. I don’t recall Linta calling the Ravens dumb. He did call walking away from the Flacco negotiations the dumbest move he’s ever seen. Big difference.

  6. And you don’t need a Yale or Harvard education to know the difference between calling an organization dumb, and calling a move by said organization the dumbest thing you’ve ever seen.

  7. He’s a grown man he say what he want. Get tired of all these “politically correct bottom kissers” telling real men how to talk. You have people disrespecting the President of the United States everyday, so YES the Ravens can get it too.

  8. Linta is right… Ravens were dumb to give all that money to Flacco.

    He had one good post-season in 5 seasons, average regular season numbers each year. The huge contract still doesn’t make sense.

  9. Ivy League education or not the guy is dumb. He represents no one of value except Flacco and he just signed the highest paid contract, got his biggest payday, felt a little big in his underwear and ran off at the mouth. Not only dumb, he has no media savvy and he is clearly immature. Only a child jumps up and says look at me, look at me, I am the best. If I was looking for an agent, his bravado doesn’t impress me, it scares me because by alienating one of the most respected front offices in the league by calling them dumb, he is just making it so other front offices don’t want to deal with him and if they don’t want to deal with him then I won’t get signed.

  10. It was dumb on the Ravens part…. simple as that. They screwed themselves with this deal. I don’t blame Flacco at all, he did exactly what every other player would’ve done.

  11. When the dust settles, it appears that Linta really respects the Ravens and still recognizes that it has the best FO in the NFL.

  12. “It’s how I feel. I’m allowed to have my opinion … It’s how I feel. I’m allowed to have my opinion”

    “I”, “I”, “I” … Joe Linta should realize that while he has the right to his opinion, it’s not necessarily going to be in the best interests of his client – his meal ticket – to express those comments publicly. And I’m sure that the Ravens have called him worse and are calling him worse right now. But they’re not doing it publicly.

    Joe Flacco should tell his agent to shut his mouth and keep his opinions to himself. What purpose did this serve other than letting him vent? Did it in any way make the pressure that Flacco is under better?

  13. I kinda agree. If tasks broke down over 1 mil in a billion dollar business, then that was dumb. I just don’t think it should have been said publicly… lol!

  14. what if flacco would have got hurt,then he would
    have been “dumb”for not doing the deal that was only 1 mil apart.both sides gambled and joe won
    end of story!!!!

  15. This not gone hurt nothong it’s all about the money, if this guy have the right player teams gone do business. Obviously the guy said everything he said they alread knew and they still paid Joe. You ask yourself if this guy has AP or anybody else that’s significant teams gone pass…..hell no

  16. i think waiting a season cost them about $8 million..
    Flacco is not a top 3 QB.

    When a QB, any QB gets close to 18% of a teams’ salary cap, you need to worry


    Nobody in Baltimore is calling Flacco a top 3 quarterback. But he is our FRANCHISE quarterback, and he led the Ravens to a Super Bowl win – something the “fastest quarterback in the NFL” will never have the pleasure of doing.

    Second, for all you bloggers who don’t read or refuse to understand the contract, Flacco is only costing the Ravens 5.5% against the cap this year, 11-12% in 2014 and 2015. It only gets problematic in 2016, but the Ravens will deal with that when the time comes.

    I had to get that off my chest….

    As for Linta, why is he publically calling the Ravens dumb for making Flacco earn the contract? Ozzie Newsome always has a number and he sticks to his guns. To that point, Flacco simply wasn’t worth the money. Now, in the Ravens eyes, he is.

    You can get your lunch Steve Bisciotti gladly forked over that 8 million (and millions more) in exchange for the tropy now on display at the team headquarters.

    That all said, I can’t help but wonder if this will not hurt Linta in future contract negotiations not just with the Ravens, but with other clubs.

  17. If Flacco is all comfortable with a big long contract does he play as well into the playoffs? Sounds to me like putting Flacco in a show me year was a “Lombardi Smart” move.

  18. For someone whose whole job consists of representing someone who does something for a living, he certainly uses the word “I” a lot.

    “Linta definitely isn’t dumb. He went to Yale.” Funny, that didn’t keep people from calling our immediate former President things like “chimp-in-chief”. The only thing I’ve ever noticed that Yalies, Harvard grads, and that crowd have in common is that well over 90% have The Attitude.

  19. Callin it dumb wasn’t even the worst thing this guy said. He called out Bisciotti specifically saying the money difference was nothing to a guy like him.

    Also, let me know when being a good husband and father has anything to do with how much money a guy makes or should make in the NFL.

    Sure Linta’s allowed to have his opinions, but it’s not wise to crow in the aftermath of a contract. Even us mere mortals shouldn’t find it wise to crow if we feel we got the better end of the money deal at work. Basically calling your boss (or whomever pays you) stubborn, cheap, etc after you win is a CLM (career limiting move). In this case it could be a CLM for Linta.

  20. Rick Spielman is a Magician says:
    May 28, 2013 10:33 AM
    “Pat Moriarty is welcome in my house every day of the week. I love the guy. I absolutely adore that guy. He’s a pro, he’s a great guy. I think the world of him.”

    Plus, he was fantastic in The Karate Kid.


    U mean Pat Mojito. Love that guy! So refreshing. Also Da Bomb in Happy Dayz. 🙂

  21. Linta said the remark had its roots in speculation that Flacco’s contract resulted in the purge of veteran players. “I’d been hearing that for about three months now,” Linta said.
    3 months? Seeing how this move will set them back a decade and go down as the franchise’s biggest fail, get ready for a lifetime of bashing.

  22. Elite QB or top 3 QB, it matters not. The “best of the best” Manning and Brady have not won a SB in years. Who cares when they go 13-3 if they don’t win the big one.
    There are 10 great QBs, 10 loser QBs, and 12 that could go either way.
    Show me a SB winner and I’ll show you a top 10 QB.

  23. NNNNOOOOOO not, “The Wizard of OZ.” LOL However, he is paying Flacco top dollar and he isn’t even the best QB in the AFC north. You do the math.

  24. “Ive never im my life seen a more dumber move” is indeed calling the ravens dumb. At least you defended your comments and don’t back down like most others do. While Raven fans did get a superbowl out of this, and Flacco got rich off the front office, the rest of us get to watch qb mediocrity for future years. Its a win win for everyone.

  25. steelcurtain. You can keep wishing & hoping all you want. Keep making predictions and who knows, you’ll start to believe them. Facts are, Joe has moved past the steelers and the pats. He got past the steelers in ’11 and the pats in ’12. He’s just starting his prime, so you go ahead with your predictions.

  26. today joe flacco clearly is the best qb in the afcn. if you think ben winning past superbowls makes him better then flacco today coming off of winning a superbowl you are just wrong. go ravens

  27. Trust me im not a Joe fan but to say he had only one good post season is incorrect. Last year besides the games against the texans Joe was a beast. Dont forget he out played Brady last year in the AFC Championship game, the only reason he didn’t go to the super bowl was a drop TD pass, and would’ve tied if the kicker was any good. Hecan easily have 2 SB now, like him or nonot it’s the truth.

  28. Joe Flacco was pedestrian for over half the season. Proof: YOu had to fire Cam Cameron to kick start the pathetic offense. While Ben R was having an MVP season until he got hurt.

  29. Charlie Batch outplayed him. You can yap that Joe’ the best in the AFCN to the people who don’t know the game. But I watched all the Ravens games and Joe was average at best and lucky for the rest of it. 4th and 27 and numerous Jumpballs.

  30. This is beautiful work by Linta.

    First he robs the Ravens blind by getting them to vastly overpay Flacco. He also lucked out and got a better deal due to timing, and he created power and leverage by winning the I told you so game and is now in a tactful way rubbing it in. That’s going to attract more clients that hate these NFL teams from a business perspective.

    This is the kind of agent a lot of players want, somebody who can stroke their ego and give them victories in ways beyond just money. And he undermines in a fair way the Ravens’ decision-makers which puts some leverage pressure to helping him in the future if you analyze the potential long-term effects of his statement and positioning of his style of commentary.

    I think he stood up for the principles of what is right and what is smart from a business decision perspective, and he taught people a lesson, and a very valuable lesson. Sure it wasn’t totally perfectly pleasant, but that’s what happens when you have some fools in charge.

    Other teams need to learn from the Ravens that made a lot of mistakes along the way, and maybe they should also take Joe Linta’s advice and proposals more seriously too, since he seems to be smarter than some team officials.

  31. tombstoned says:May 28, 2013 11:43 AM

    Rick Spielman is a Magician says:
    May 28, 2013 10:33 AM
    “Pat Moriarty is welcome in my house every day of the week. I love the guy. I absolutely adore that guy. He’s a pro, he’s a great guy. I think the world of him.”

    Plus, he was fantastic in The Karate Kid.


    U mean Pat Mojito. Love that guy! So refreshing. Also Da Bomb in Happy Dayz.

    Actually, it was Pat Morita. And I knew he wasn’t the same guy.

  32. @jack
    You know im not wishing and hoping for nothing. I look at Flacco as a mediocre qb and I will even up the ante to good qb but nowhere near elite. He’s a get you to the playoffs qb and win a playoff game and lose every year but this year he happen to win the superbowl off of denvers misfortunate mistake. If he wins another superbowl, I will change my opinion about the man but he’ll just have to prove me wrong. I just don’t see it happenning!!!!

  33. jtbsteeler, did u ever consider the other side of the Cameron point: Flacco was being held back until the ravens got rid of Cameron, and released joe from that aweful 1960’s offense. Under Caldwell he had 15 TD’s and 2 INT’s. I expect that production to continue under Caldwell next year.

  34. Im sure the NFL isn’t as sensitive as some of you people, life goes on Joe gets paid Ravens got trophy. And for the people calling the agent dumb, he got Joe 120milion contract. ….enough said. He can be my agent any day, he work for the players not the owners so his loyalties is to them. Teams don’t have as much leverage as people think if Joe had walk away, just what in the hell the ravens would do this year?

  35. Rick Spielman is a Magician says:
    May 28, 2013 10:33 AM
    “Pat Moriarty is welcome in my house every day of the week. I love the guy. I absolutely adore that guy. He’s a pro, he’s a great guy. I think the world of him.”



  36. Flacco is the best QB in the NFL. He threw for 11 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in the post season, had a QB rating of 117, the highest in the league. He has consistently taken the Ravens to the playoffs and won a playoff game every year he has played. Who else has done that? I’ll tell you who has tied Flaccos post season TD/Int record: Joe Montana. So, if Montana were playing, Flacco would have competition. But he’s not and he doesn’t. BOOM!

  37. steelcurtain – You can talk about other teams “mistakes” all you want. They don’t wash here. Ravens and Joe are SB Champs. Just like the other 46 teams.
    OK, I’ll make a prediction: If Joe wins another SB, you still won’t change your opinion.

  38. There’s no guarantee they still win the Super Bowl if Flacco was paid before the season. And for how he played for much of the regular season…. That new contract would have been talked about non-stop and probably a distraction and even more pressure on flaccid shoulders.

    Seems like Ravens made exactly the move they should have.

    Now, if Flacco doesn’t perform this upcoming season like he did in those playoff games, THEN the ravens will look dumb, Litna will be counting his lucky stars he got that contract, and Flacco will be taking a beating in the media daily.

  39. I agree with all these incredibly intelligent PFT posters. Not giving Flacco a contract last year was DUMB, all the Ravens got in return was a Super Bowl.

  40. Super Bowl 47 will be a distant memory for Ravens fans by mid-season. Your defense is going to get lit up.

  41. @jtbsteeler- another bold prediction. What was your prediction for The Ravens last year at this time? That’s what I thought.

  42. First rule of sports agenting, NEVER do anything to make yourself the story.

    It’s unbecoming of an agent who is negotiating the salary of his client with a counterparty that represents hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of loyal NFL customers to deliberately inject himself into the news.

    Epic fail.

  43. jb..clearly you know nothing about football. and to all the posters who say that flacco got lucky with the denver game…what about the points scored before and after that play…and the points against the pats…and the points against san fran. joe is an outstanding qb and sb champion

  44. @jack
    Good for B-more. Steelers been there twice out of the last 8 years. Yawn.
    Doesn’t matter to me if it doesn’t wash around there. I bring up the facts superbowl win or not.
    If is an awful big word, I’d consider changing my opinion but your gonna have to show me you can do it again.( without heaving any bombs to win games). Big Bens been there 3 times, lets see if joe can achieve that.

  45. doesnt matter how you win the games. and the ravens didnt win the super bowl on a bomb. for crying out loud ben has ben horrible in every super bowl hes been in and beat arizona on an amzing(lucky) play.

  46. So if The Ravens win the SB, and Joe throws bombs, steelcurtain STILL won’t give The Ravens & Joe any credit. I’m shocked.

  47. @scoobies
    You’ve been one of the sensible ones I have seen post on here BUT cmon
    Big Ben has hardly been horrible in every superbowl except the seattle superbowl his 2nd year in the league. Sure, he threw 2 picks against the pack but he was practically hit throwing one of them picks and threw for more then 250 both them games. Not that great but not horrible. Lucky, play to
    Holmes in the corner, really. Better rethink that one. This isnt flacco heaving it to jacoby jones. Sure, the ravens didnt win the sb on a bomb but it sure helped them get there, thats all Im saying. Bmore got there one, we’ll see if they can do it again.

    I’ll give them credit if they can even get back to the superbowl again. Then, you’ll be shocked.

  48. It’s obvious Linta’s first big contract has gone to his head. As they say, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”!

  49. Even if Linta thinks what he said, it still shouldn’t be said. You don’t hear other agents make these comments for a reason. They are professionals. Players don’t want to sign with agents who make it about them and not the player/team.

  50. Folks who think Flacco thew up jump balls pretty much don’t understand how the passing game works in the NFL.

    Quarterbacks put the ball where the receiver can get it. This doesn’t mean they throw it right to the numbers they also put it where the defender CAN’T get it which may not always be the ideal place for the receiver. Perhaps in Boldin’s case since he wasn’t fast and couldn’t get separation from the defender the best Flacco could do was put it where Boldin could muscle it in since he trusted Boldin to be more aggressive when the defender was right on him.

    I know a logical football answer won’t help the trolls but maybe fellow Ravens fans can use it.

  51. steelcurtain- Why not give The Ravens credit for this SB? I’m sure you didn’t think they could win one. Why do they have to win another?

  52. If you truly respect the game of football then you definitely have to pay homage to whomever win the super bowl. You dont make the playoffs by accident and you damn sure dont win 4 in a row to win a championship by accident. Peyton was on fire all season and soon as he get into the playoffs he stunk up the joint ( but nothing is said). Flacco did the total opposite and was lights out in the playoffs and he get grief. In my eyes its all about championships, and as “great” as Peyton suppose to be he only has one championship over Rex Grossman. I could care less about all the yards and wins cause Iit only mattered for one season.

  53. scoobies05 | May 28, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT
    doesnt matter how you win the games. and the ravens didnt win the super bowl on a bomb. for crying out loud ben has ben horrible in every super bowl hes been in and beat arizona on an amzing(lucky) play.

    Please scoobie such a one way homer. Of course luck was involved in every
    steeler SB win just like 4and29 was a lucky play with a generous spot. The ravens deserved their Super Bowl but some luck was involved as per usual.

  54. Thanks for the common sense about SB Champs, Scoobie & Nofool. Either ALL teams have luck or NONE have luck. Just depends on how you look at it.

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