After reaching the pinnacle of his career in being named Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLVII, quarterback Joe Flacco will now break the bank with a long-term contract with the Ravens making him the highest-paid player in NFL history.
As first reported by FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer, the sides have reached an agreement in principle on a long-term deal that will officially be completed on Monday, the last day the Ravens would have been able to designate Flacco with the franchise tag. The quarterback will sign a six-year deal worth $120.6 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The record-setting deal comes after Flacco held more negotiating leverage over the Ravens than any star player in recent memory.
The news of the long-term agreement will alleviate salary cap concerns for the Ravens as a deal is expected to create a more manageable 2013 cap figure for the franchise quarterback than either the exclusive or non-exclusive franchise tag numbers for this season.
Flacco’s agent Joe Linta and Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty entered contract negotiations in Indianapolis last week for the first time since talks broke down last August with the sides unable to come to an agreement. Talks were described as cordial, but a contract wasn’t considered imminent until the news broke Friday evening. Linta said Friday the Ravens agreed to all their terms, but they will look over the deal before Flacco signs it on Monday.
Though it doesn’t qualify as an official statement, the Ravens’ Twitter account announced that general manager Ozzie Newsome has confirmed that the parameters of the contract are in place with some details and language that will need to be finalized.
After passing on the Ravens’ best offer last summer, Flacco went on to throw 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in one of the greatest postseason performances in NFL history to lead the Ravens to their second world championship on Feb. 3. The fifth-year quarterback cemented his place as one of the league’s top signal-callers with the remarkable four-game run against Indianapolis, Denver, New England, and San Francisco.
Playing in his first Super Bowl, Flacco went 22-for-33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns in the 34-31 victory over the 49ers. The 28-year-old threw for 22 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and 3,817 yards in the regular season.
Several teammates used Twitter to offer their congratulations on Friday evening as the Ravens now know their franchise quarterback will remain in Baltimore for years to come.
“Dinner and a few nights on Joe Flacco when we get back,” wrote Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, who added that the new contract was “well deserved.”
In his five-year career, the 2008 first-round pick has passed for 17,633 yards, 102 touchdowns, and 56 interceptions for a career passer rating of 86.3.
The Ravens are expected to turn their attention immediately toward their other unrestricted free agents and the rest of the offseason as securing the quarterback long-term was their paramount objective before anything else. General manager Ozzie Newsome now has the opportunity to use the franchise tag on another player, but the executive said at last month’s end-of-year press conference that the organization would not tag anyone else should they reach a new contract with Flacco.