“My job is to assess his worth relevant to the rest of the market and his value relative to that city and that organization,” said Linta, who explained there is no set timetable for a new contract. “He’s arguably one of the faces of the franchise right now, if not the face of the franchise. As he goes, they go.”
Birk still pondering future
Linta also represents veteran center Matt Birk, who is contemplating retirement after three seasons with the Ravens.
After 14 years in the NFL and six Pro Bowl selections, Birk is an unrestricted free agent and has stated his preference to remain in Baltimore if he chooses to play in 2012. However, general manager Ozzie Newsome stated at the organization’s end-of-season press conference that the Ravens plan to bring a new center into the fold via the draft or free agency.
After backing up Birk for one season in Baltimore, veteran center Andre Gurode — a five-time Pro Bowl selection with Dallas — will also become an unrestricted free agent. Even if Birk decides he wants to play one more season, the Ravens could choose to go in a different direction.
“The day after the season’s over, it’s about a one-percent chance they come back,” said Linta in describing older players making a decision on retirement. “Then, it jumps about 10 percent every couple of weeks until it hits about 60, 70, 80 percent. Then, it’s kind of like, “OK, I’m going to do it or not do it.’ I would expect this out of Matt being the pro that he is and having had a really good year.
“He”ll sit back and think about this and if he’s going to play, he’s going to come in and play as a starter and he’s going to play at a Pro Bowl caliber level.”
Despite undergoing knee surgery during training camp and missing the entire preseason, the 35-year-old Birk played in all 16 regular-season games but appeared to wear down at the end of the season as the offensive line struggled against physical defensive fronts in the postseason.
To hear the full interview with Linta from Wednesday’s edition of “The Reality Check” on AM 1570 WNST, click HERE.