Ravens have a potential mess in 2016 with Flacco contract

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In early 2013, quarterback Joe Flacco bet on himself, won the lottery, took full advantage of his leverage, and secured a six-year, $120.6 million contract.

The Ravens loaded more than half of the cash into the first three years of the deal, but constructed very manageable cap numbers of $6.8 million in 2013, $14.8 million in 2014, and $14.55 million in 2015.

Next year, that changes.  Dramatically.

Flacco’s cap number shoots to $28.55 million in 2016, and then pushes to $31.15 million in 2017.  The cap number for the final year of the deal is $24.75 million.

During a Wednesday conference call with season-ticket holders, owner Steve Bisciotti expressed a high degree of confidence that Flacco will be “very amenable” to a contractual adjustment.  But a simple restructuring won’t be easy to do, since any salary converted to signing bonus would be spread over three years.  Also, with the cap number for 2017 due to be $31.15 million, kicking the can from 2016 would serve only to jack up the cap number even farther beyond $30 million the following year.

So the Ravens will need Flacco to agree to an extension.  Which means that Flacco will once again hold the cards.  If he says, “No, I’m fine with my contract,” will the Ravens increase their offer on a new deal — or will the Ravens cut him loose?

While the situation won’t reach full boil until next February or March, it will loom over the 2015 Ravens, with plenty of talk and rumors and speculation about what eventually will happen with Flacco as of 2016.

66 responses to “Ravens have a potential mess in 2016 with Flacco contract

  1. longtimefanhtr says:
    Apr 2, 2015 6:48 PM
    I thought Ozzie was such a great GM? Overpaid for Flacco and soon to be in salary cap hell as a result.


  2. I can see it now:

    The 2016 Tennessee Titans Starting QB Joe “Elite” Flacco!

    – and the crowd goes wild as Little Joe takes the field in his baby blues –

  3. I wonder how the 3 people that comprise the Raven fanbase feel about this? I also wonder, how many Hail Mary PI calls does 120+ mil buy you?

  4. Anyone who understands the business side of this understands exactly why the contract is as is right now, and also exactly why Flacco will be amenable to an extension

    Guaranteed Money.

    Its like how every year it seems like Florio and PFT want to give a hand-job to Tom Brady for taking “less money” all the while guaranteeing himself money.

    Players and agents like guaranteed money. It ammounts to job security, and money in pocket that will never have to be given back.

    This is a non-issue. Flacco will agree to another 6 or 7 year deal with another chunk of 30-50 mill up front, with amenable cap figures for another 3 or so year. Rinse, repeat.

    The problem with a deal like Brees’ is that Brees is too old and his production is too far in decline to justify a cap friendly extension. Same goes for Peyton Manning. They had to ask him to take a pay cut, because an extension for an old QB with a bad neck is not good business.

  5. What would his dead-money number be if they cut him loose when all the guaranteed money was gone? Because as flaccotoboldin points out, guaranteed money is the only real number that matters when you’re talking about a contract re-structure. Player re-does his deal so the team can lower his cap hold, and he’s seen as an unselfish team-first player even though he essentially got a pay raise (by virtue of increasing his guaranteed money). They’ll re-do Flacco’s deal to lower his cap number, he’ll get more guaranteed money on his extension, everybody will walk away happy.

  6. The Ravens went for a structure that deferred 2014 and 2015 salary cap into later years. Their salary cap was artificially low, but eventually it catches up with you. A simpler version was the Patriots deal with Revis. They laid out $12 million in cash and only took a salary cap hit of $7 million in 2014. This year, Revis $5 million in dead money hits the Patriots cap. Teams borrow all of the time against future years cap hits. The Flacco deferral is just massive. The Ravens have one more year of an artificially low cap hit for Flacco, but they know it hits the fan in 2016 and 2017.

  7. He has to renegotiate. Or get cut. Nobody in their right mind is going to pay Flacco that kind of money. Not the Raiders, not the Dolphins – nobody. The Ravens know it, Flacco knows it and his agent knows it. However, in the extreme case a team does, let’s face it, it will likely be a train wreck of a franchise. And Flacco is smart. He’s close to home, playing for a first class organization, a perennial winner, and will have more money than even his grandkids can spend. And with the salary cap going up every year – Ravens fans – you don’t have anything to be worried about. He ain’t going anywhere.

  8. This is what everyone knew when he was signed. The Ravens overpaid Flacco and locked themselves in to salary cap hell

    Ravens fans all ASSURED us that Salary Cap hits of $28 and $31 million were “team friendly” and of course they boasted that they had the BEST QB in the league (obviously, because he’s the highest paid!)

    They’d better hope he take an outright cut – because there’s really no good way to restructure that short of putting themselves in even WORSE salary cap hell the following year, etc.

  9. Best thing that could happen is flacco goes to another team and everyone realizes the Ravens were carrying him a whole lot more than he was carrying the Ravens.

  10. I am a very realistic ravens fan. Ozzie knows exactly what he’s doing. The ravens WILL have a rough year this year, most likely 8-8, 9-7. We will be fielding a mediocre secondary yet again. Even with a healthy Jimmy, our lack of a backend will be our undoing against a schedule filled with good qbs and good defenses. We most likely will be fielding a receiving core of Steve Smith, Brown, Camp, and then some rookies mixed with some journeymen. Sorry this will not get it done. I think Crockett Gilmore is a great prospect, but the guy has 10 catches in the NFL. We most likely add a TE through the draft, yet again another rookie. I can definitely see Ozzie adding some sneaky cap casualties to add depth. But overall, trestman will prove to be way too trigger happy with an offense with very little talent outside of the Oline and Joe (sometimes). I think we’ll be getting a nice draft pick next year. And I think ozzie thinks that too

  11. Over the next 3 years his base is: 18, 20, so
    Those are reasonable numbers

    His pro-rated signing bonus is money already paid, and has no bearing on this.

    There is no way they should cut him, since they still have to eat the pro rated and accelerated signing bonus.

    As for extending him, he does have leverage. The question is how much? He hasn’t set the world on fire so if he demands a kings ransom, and that would make the team uncompetitive then don’t sign the extension.
    But if they throw in some guaranteed money, then maybe he’ll be interested.

  12. I like Flacco, he always plays the Pats tough. I’d rather have him than Russell Wilson, Manning, tannehill, Dalton. He’s not great, but he’s good, and often great when it matters most.
    I’d be concerned, though, if the league cleans up its jump ball officiating; long penalties help him much more than anyone else. The terrible call on Revis in the playoffs is a typical example; Smith pushed off but still got the call.
    I’d sign him for $15 mil/year.

  13. They won’t cut him loose. Also, Ozzie is not that great, look at his recent contracts like Flacco, Webb, and Monroe. And he’s only drafted one pro bowl player in the last 6 years and that was Mosely last season.

  14. That’s why you don’t pay the 10th best QB in the league more than more accomplished QB’s like Brady, Brees, Manning and Roethlisberger.

  15. Half of flaccos contract should go to Boldin for coming down with amazing catchs durring that super bowl run. if not for him flacco gets picked off 10 times.

  16. I mean who really cares if the Baltimore has a problem with Flakeo’s contract. The guy’s a bum anyway. Hah, 24 million…….even the dipstick Brisciotti isn’t that stupid. Already this turkey, Brisciotti, is up for some major fine dollars in his ridiculous comments regarding Ngata. The guy’s a moron. The team sucks……Baltimore sucks……the whole Beltway sucks, just as Obozo and the whole of that part of the country sucks.

  17. Looked all you morons this article. I’m saying that because didn’t Ben Rothlesberger just do it. Didn’t Tony Romo just do it. And didn’t Tom Brady do it. Every quarterback restructures their contract for cap Room. It is a non-story and it’s absolutely ridiculous. Even his own agent said it was a basic three year deal.

  18. Last year they played a soft schedule. 9-0 against .500 or worse teams and 2-7(including playoffs)against teams over .500. So far they have gotten worse on the roster and play a more difficult schedule. 8-8 sounds about right.

  19. Is this the Joe that holds multiple NFL records. Has more playoff victories than Romo Dalton Cutler Ryan all combined. This is the one who holds multiple playoff records including road wins touchdowns and a near perfect playoff Super Bowl run. Is this the Joe Flacco we keep talking about. The one who has won more games since he’s been in the league than most any other franchise. Yeah that Joe Flacco

  20. “I mean who really cares if the Baltimore has a problem with Flakeo’s contract. The guy’s a bum anyway.”

    A bum ? Really ? You may not like the Ravens or the player but he’s led them to the playoffs 6 years out of the 7 he’s been in the league, and won a Super Bowl.

    Most fans would be ecstatic if they had a QB do as well for their team. And the bottom feeder franchises either haven’t made the playoffs once in that time or only once or twice.

    I loathe the Ravens but give credit where credit is due. No player at any position is worth a 30 million cap hit, but Flacco is a very very good QB.

  21. So …. any chance the Ravens can get a rule change on the whole salary cap thing as well?

    Awaiting their Tweet…

  22. what is funny is joe is gonna tell them to screw off and make the ravens cut him….thats what i would do. teams need to be accountable of their play in the office just the players are accountable for their play on the field.

  23. @nfl123 Dude, are you serious? Go back and watch Revis in that game! He was constantly holding, as he often does, and never getting called for it. At one point, he is holding onto Steve Smith’s jersey with both hands as Smith is literally dragging him down the field!

  24. All of you a Ravens haters are morons.. Flacco has done nothing but win his entire career, and that’s the point of playing. Stats don’t matter, winning is what matters. Flacco has more playoff wins than Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, and just as many Super Bowls. Their stats mean nothing.

    Ozzie Newsome is a great GM. The Ravens have made the playoffs 10 times since 2000. Winning 18 games, and 2 Super Bowls. He has drafted multiple Hall Of Famers. Name another GM with that track record.

    Ozzie Newsome has a plan for Joe Flacco’s contract. He knows what he is doing. Most of you don’t.

  25. Wilson is a lousy passer, seahawkboy, but you have to pay him anyway. He was bad against both the Packers and Patriots. I wouldn’t be psyched about his future. I think he was exposed in the playoffs.

  26. intrafinesse says: Over the next 3 years his base is: 18, 20, so Those are reasonable numbers. His pro-rated signing bonus is money already paid, and has no bearing on this.

    No bearing? That has a HUGE impact!

    And this is why you’ve seen the exodus of players that contributed to the Ravens Super Bowl wins

    None of us care how much the owner is or isn’t spending – but the salary cap is a BIG factor and so is Flacco’s $28.5 million followed by a $31 million cap hit

    These are not “team friendly” numbers as Ravens fans assert

    And if they cut him they have a large portion of that count anyways

    Flacco’s got them hostage and in the end he’ll let them kick the can one to two more years down the road, taking them for even MORE guranteed money, still impacting the ability to sign other quality players and the Ravens will just be in a deeper hole – praying the Salary Cap makes a MAJOR jump

  27. flaccotoboldin says: This is a non-issue. Flacco will agree to another 6 or 7 year deal with another chunk of 30-50 mill up front, with amenable cap figures for another 3 or so year. Rinse, repeat.

    Rinse and repeat on some disappointing seasons too

    How many quality Super Bowl contributing Ravens have left for teams with more salary space?

    And THAT’S in the portion of Flacco’s bloated contract that IS team friendly with a low cap hit

    And all you’re doing by extending him with what sounds like the very same contract he signed in the first place is COMPOUND the salary cap issues for LONGER

    Flacco’s agent has created a situation where the Ravens almost have no choice BUT to continue to pay him as if he’s the best QB in the league, and continue to suffer the consequences of cap hits in the $25 million range for ANOTHER 5 years beyond now.

    So if you like this season’s results you have a LOT to look forward to for the next several years.

  28. I think Joe should gladly reconstruct his contract… unless he is playing out of his mind and at an elite level. He can’t be Average Joe when getting big money.

    I get it, he helps the team get to the playoffs, and tries his best not to cost the team games. He needs to start making the players around him better, its time. The Ravens have helped him by putting VERY good WRs around him like Boldin, Torrey and Steve Smith to help make him look and play better and an amazing defense for most of his career. He needs to start making WR’s better, such as guys like Brady and Brees, if he is going to keep getting paid like that.

  29. Why didn’t the ravens allocate money/ restructure his deal last off season to give him more money last year while also lowering his future cap numbers when they had the space? Didn’t the Pats do that with Wifork?

  30. I love waking up in the morning with my coffee and reading all of these jealous haters commenting on Flacco and or his contract value. Note to all you haters. It’s fine. We will figure it out. Don’t you worry. I’ll take our overpriced and over-hyped bum any day and twice in Sunday! After all haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate….

  31. Steelers had a similar problem with Bens contract and were ultimately only able to reduce his cap numbers slightly with his extension although his cap numbers are not nearly as much as Flaccos. Flacco is not going anywhere so they are going to have to eat it until Flacco retires or plays out his contract.

  32. 27 other NFL teams wish Flacco was their SB MVP QB. That is a fact.

    And in a few years, Broncos, Pats, and Saints fans will wish the same thing too.

    Ignorance is so annoying.

  33. Ngata’s contract became a “mess” this year and you saw what happened to him.

  34. Ravens will be just fine. The salary cap is going to continue to increase, and even if it didn’t, the Ravens are carrying dead money this season from Ray Rice and Haloti Ngata that more than covers the jump in Flacco’s contract number. Take a look at the cap sheet and you’ll see that the Ravens aren’t overburdened with bad long-term deals, but instead have a new batch of stars on the rise like Jimmy Smith, CJ Mosley, Rick Wagner, and Timmy Jernigan. Couple that with another good draft this year and the Ravens will be in better cap shape than most of the league.

    Bank on another playoff season and another shot at a ring.

  35. It’s absolutely ridiculous. People do not understand the salary cap or football for that matter. The ravens and Joe Flacco agree that this was more of a three-year contract. The last three years his Numbers have had him in the lower half of Impact by football players. Quarterbacks. It has no effect on them signing long-term deals. Every team does this. Romo Rothlisberger they all restructure their contract.

  36. Ozzie already said this past year…we’ll be prepared to deal with Joe at that number. Next year without dead money from Pitta, Rice, Jacoby and Ngata its basically a wash

    …but hey why include a quote from the GM that addresses this? and is only a month old?

  37. the Bills Dolphins Jets Browns Bengals Texans Chiefs Jaguars Vikings Eagles Panthers Bucs Cardinals Rams 9ers…..would all call Joe if he was a free agent. I know alot of people have a hard time understanding supply and demand. and a year from now the Patriots and the Broncos might call too.

    also most of the guys that people mention as being “better” than Joe are a year or two away from the end: Brady, Peyton Brees…Romo who is not better is not that far away from the end. So how do you recede Joe then?? Really just Joe and ARod and Ben at the top as proven playoff QBs. Maybe Luck, but he has yet to stop turning the ball over against the Patriots who Flacco always seems to shred

  38. jacktheraven says:
    Apr 3, 2015 9:09 AM
    “Ngata’s contract became a “mess” this year and you saw what happened to him.”

    Ngata was expendable and unwilling to restructure. If you think Flacco is a luxury and not a need, I want to see your face when Schaub throws his first pick six and Baltimore goes from winning to losing in a heartbeat.

  39. I agree miles. My point was that Ozzie already said that they are able to handle Joe’s contract. Ngata was the right player but the wrong price.

  40. Some of you people are dumber than what i thought even existed. Some people need to keep their nfl ignorance to themselves. The dude is going to sign an extension and they’ll fix the cap numbers. It’s football, not baseball.

  41. jacktheraven says:
    Apr 3, 2015 12:30 PM
    “I agree miles. My point was that Ozzie already said that they are able to handle Joe’s contract. Ngata was the right player but the wrong price.”

    My misunderstanding. Go Ravens!

  42. @harrisonhits

    Your comments epitomize being a fan of your team AND the game. Like you, I hate my rival (the Steelers), but I recognize talent. You have a great organization we have tried to model.

    Thanks for being a decent human in addition to a good fan of your team.

  43. As we have seen on PFT and in the media Flacco is viewed more favorably in Baltimore where he has led the team to the playoffs consistently. He is more concerned with his legacy in Baltimore now also and because of this he will renegotiate his contract with the Ravens so don’t bother yelling abandon ship yet PFT bloggers.

  44. I disagree that The Ravens “tried to model” themselves after the Steelers. They DID know, that for them to go forward, they would have to beat there biggest competition, and that was the Steelers.

  45. @Jacktheraven

    Modeling is perhaps the wrong word, but if I spend enough time I will come up with the Bisciotti quote from years ago about trying to emulate the success of Steelers. It may have been at the end of the Billick regime. I agreed then with Biscoitti and still do.

    Modeling may have been the wrong word. But as much as I hate the Steelers, to enjoy the successes they have had is something to want to achieve. I have a harder time saying that about the Patriots.

  46. The Ravens had no option but to extend Flacco and give him an expensive contract. You need a franchise QB to take your team deep into the playoffs and that’s exactly what he did. You don’t let a Super Bowl MVP sign elsewhere. Why do you guys think the bottom feeders of the NFL chronically suck? It’s because they don’t have an established QB or they keep drafting busts. Flacco doesn’t put up great season stats worthy of taking your fantasy football to the championship, but he wins in the playoffs when it matters. Get over it haters.

  47. @bunkmcnulty- Good points. I too, give the Steelers credit. But, in recent years, The Ravens have caught their #1 nemesis, and in some ways have passed them.

  48. Good point footballbaby. A lot of doubters here act like Joe is the only player with a high cap hit. And, it’s not till NEXT year.

  49. Ravens fans are acting like a $31 million salary cap hit for one player isn’t going to impact the team’s ability to address other needs

    They’re pretty much in denial and I guess we can’t really blame them

  50. PFT, please save this article and all its comments.

    We would like to revisit it in about one year and use it as a learning opportunity on the business of football and how perennial contenders run an organization for all the so called experts commenting here.

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