As you might have read a time or 1,000 during the offseason, Joe Flacco is up for a new contract. The Ravens QB is in the final year of a five-year deal that is paying him $12 million, and no one denies that a new deal will get done. But when? And wouldn’t the Ravens be smart if they did it sooner rather than later?
I talked about this some in my hit for Total Access yesterday, before I headed out to Philadelphia. That’s where I am now, and where I’ll stay the rest of the week.
But that no-huddle offense might be driving up Flacco’s price for the Ravens. And I’m not alone in thinking that. As effective as Flacco was against the Bengals — completing 21 of 29 pass attempts for 299 yards and two TDs — he’ll only get more effective. They’re throwing it, he’s on target, and it’s been productive.
If this team turns into a juggernaut on offense, too, look out. And all of that will make Flacco more expensive. Don’t believe me? Listen to him.
“Yeah, I’m not worried about my contract, that’s exactly why,” Flacco told me yesterday after his news conference. “As time goes by, I don’t see myself getting any cheaper. So, we’ll see how that goes.”
A confident line, one that happens to be true. He said it with a laugh and a very jovial look. But he didn’t say he was joking… because, of course, he wasn’t. Flacco has always been a guy who has won, living in the playoffs in January. But he’s never been a stats guy. He might be now. And don’t think those numbers will be ignored during negotiations.
And he’s a good team guy, too, which players recognize. Flacco hasn’t made an issue out of his contract, and it’s got to be one of the least contentious QB deals ever (though Matt Schaub’s was close). When he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, Flacco said he was happy.
“Because it means we had a good day on offense,” Flacco said. “(We) put up some points, but really our focus is on Philadelphia now. (I’m) not too concerned about what happened last week.”
The thing is, they can do the same this week against the Eagles. For Flacco, it might be easier against a fierce pass-rushing team, because this scheme can tire such a team out. As Flacco told me, “It’s going to be tough for them to substitute and stay out there for full, long drives. A handful of plays into that drive, it’s going to wear on them a little bit.” That will ease his burden.
Look for that Sunday. Meanwhile, the members of this vaunted defense are simply enjoying what they are watching.
“As a team, go out and just click on all aspects,” LB Ray Lewis said. “I know a lot of people going out and putting all aspects, on offense, what our offense does. We’ve always believed in our offense. I just think Joe has a lot of new pieces now that he can really play with and that fast-paced offense, you watch all the great offenses around the league, really moving to that fast-break offense, and for us to go to it right now with the great pieces we have, I think it’s a great thing.”