There are some pretty big decisions ahead of the Baltimore Ravens this offseason and they all begin with how to bring back Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco. Both the team and Flacco have said they want to hash out a long term deal that will pay the quarterback a large sum of money, but the question becomes whether or not they’ll be able to do it in a timely manner or if other means to bring Flacco back will become necessary.
By this, of course I mean the franchise tag.
But while the Ravens have lots of names that are in flux at the moment when it comes to who to keep and who to let go, the team has said they will only use the franchise tag on Flacco and that if it’s not used on him it won’t be used at all.
“We get a deal done with Joe, we will not franchise another player,” G.M. Ozzie Newsome said recently. “We will not do that.”
The Ravens have until March 4th to reach a long term deal with Flacco as he’s set to his the open market after that. However if a deal isn’t reached by that date, the Ravens can block teams from attempting to sign Flacco by slapping that franchise tag on him which gives him a one year contract at the highest salary rate for his position.
It’s not a bargain but it sure beats watching the Super Bowl MVP walk to another team, or worse a rival.
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.
What this little blurb means is this: if the Ravens slap the non-exclusive franchise tag on Flacco, they’ll be forking over $14.6 million, while the exclusive tag would cost around $20 million. Basically, Flacco is in the driver’s seat when it comes to contract negotiations and the Ravens are clearly (and rightfully so) making him their No. 1 priority this offseason.