As is the case with any NFL contract, the devil is in the details as we begin to see how the six-year, $120.6 million contract signed by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is structured.
The deal will officially be signed Monday and pays the 28-year-old $62 million over the first three years of the deal and $52 million in guaranteed money. The Ravens will benefit in the short term from a $6.8 million cap number for the 2013 season, which is less than half of the $14.9 million he would have received if designated with the non-exclusive franchise tag.
According to Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the 2008 first-round pick receives a $29 million signing bonus and option bonuses of $15 million and $7 million built into the contract. This brings Flacco’s take-home amount to $30 million in the first season, $51 million in the first two years, and $62 million by the conclusion of the 2015 season.
His 2016 number is where the deal becomes interesting — and perilous — for the Ravens as Flacco would count for $29 million against the salary cap. The NFL’s new television deal set to kick in next season is expected to increase the cap substantially by 2015, but it’s difficult to imagine general manager Ozzie Newsome digesting that 2016 cap number, making an extension likely after the first three years of the deal.
With those details in mind, Flacco’s deal is essentially a three-year contract with the Ravens all but certain to address the remainder of the deal prior to the 2016 season.