Posted on 04 March 2013 by Nestor Aparicio
Posted on 27 November 2012 by Thyrl Nelson
Long before the season began, Joe Flacco made a few waves and grabbed a few headlines with his proclamation here on the WNST airwaves that he considered himself an elite quarterback. Immediately after stating as much he attempted to clarify his logic in having to believe that way, but the statement had already been made, the bell had already been rung and the attention had already been cast in the direction of the sensational from a quarterback who, while improbably or inexplicably successful to this point in his career, could be described with any number of adjectives but not exactly sensational.
Since then, and even likely without those statements made by Flacco, everyone has been trying to figure out where he fits into the NFL’s quarterbacking hierarchy. Those who have already decided one way or the other on Falcco’s elite potential or lack thereof have been summarily empowered or silenced as the wind has blown and as his game by game fortunes have varied wildly.
The underlying story has been and remains a real issue for the Ravens. While it seems that there’s little doubt within the organization as to whether or not Flacco is capable of leading the team to the “promised land” of a Super Bowl title; the time for them to put up or shut up in that regard is rapidly reaching urgency.
After Flacco’s first game, a one-sided drubbing of the Cincinnati Bengals in Baltimore, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh essentially said that it’s time to pay that man. With his sporadic caliber of play, particularly on the road this season, Flacco has indirectly seemed to suggest through his play that he might not exactly be a safe bet to ever evolve into the franchise quarterback that the team may want him to be. Whichever way the front office is leaning, there have been plenty of compelling arguments, made on the field by his play, to suggest that they reconsider.
Soon enough though, Joe Flacco is going to get paid. Forgetting, for just a second about the possibility of his ever being elite, Ravens fans know all to well how difficult it can be to find a quarterback that could even be considered competent in comparison to NFL standards. We watched this team, after all, cling to Kyle Boller for far too long seemingly afraid that the polish that they had painstakingly tried to put on his skills might manifest elsewhere and come back to haunt them. Clearly Joe Flacco has shown far more polish than Boller ever did, and so the price of retaining him will be much greater…and potentially much riskier.
Maybe the Ravens caught a bit of a break when the new CBA was put into effect before last season. With the new CBA, the price of the franchise tags went down across the board. Last year the price of a franchise tagged quarterback was just over $14 million for one season. This year that number will likely be higher, but not much higher.
With each passing week the questions about Flacco seem to mount, as do the stakes. Maybe the Ravens see the franchise tag as another 16 game chance to kick the tires on Flacco. Even a second year of wearing the tag wouldn’t be preclusive from a pricing standpoint, and likely wouldn’t even cost the Ravens much more than they’d have to pay him under the terms of a long-term contract. But what exactly could this team learn about Flacco in 2 more seasons that they haven’t already found out in his first 5?
Posted on 19 July 2012 by John Sears
Yesterday news broke that there was a chance that the Ravens and Joe Flacco could come to terms on a long term contract by the time training camp rolls around; a “75% chance” to be exact. I’m sure most fans were excited to hear this, as was I. But when a report comes out like this, it’s important not to trust it blindly.
You see, teams will sometimes leak this information in order to sort of “put the ball in the players court”, so that if a deal doesn’t get done the player (Joe Flacco in this case) might look bad. Well, Flacco’s agent, Joe Linta joined Drew Forrester this morning to address the chances that Joe Flacco signs before training camp. He said rather sarcastically (in regards to the ‘75% chance’), ““That was news to me. That’s good. That’s a good number”. Quite simply put, there is no timetable on when it will get done.
Ravens fans shouldn’t really expect a deal to get done in the near future. In negotiations like this (where there is no timetable, unlike Ray Rice) the two parties will usually talk things over for a while. “You want to understand what their sides hot button, important issues are. They have to understand ours. We shake hands. We hug and we go at it. It’s not personal. It’s not the vitriol filled room that a lot of people might think,” Linta said.
Linta said Flacco really isn’t even worried about when it gets done which is very good news for the Ravens and fans. He said, “Money is secondary to him to the winning and the success he enjoys with the team.” This should make Ravens fans happy because the last thing we need is another player who’s mind is not on football when it should be (ahem…Ed Reed). Flacco is focused on winning games like he has done throughout his career. “His primary focus is to go out and play the game and win for the town and himself…He has a real affinity for this town,” said Linta.
Quite frankly, Ravens fans are lucky to have a player who generally cares about the city, wants to win for everyone and who is a top flight quarterback. Flacco takes so much undeserved criticism from people, including a large majority home town fans. It always amazes me how fans around here can criticize the best QB we have ever had here by a long shot. When did people become so spoiled?
Linta believes that it is due in large part to some of the mainstream media. He says, “There are people in the media who don’t watch the film so all they have to go on is statistics. There are a lot of guys that are on television that don’t know the difference between touchdown and goose down yet they are analyzing Joe Flacco’s performance. You have to laugh at that but they become influential to the public at large.”
And that’s just it. Flacco’s numbers obviously aren’t the best but if you actually watch him play. If you actually see what he does with the below average supporting cast (minus Ray Rice) around him, it’s hard to argue that he is not one of the best QB’s in the league.
Flacco also has a great deal of confidence in himself. Lack of confidence is often a downfall of some quarterbacks. Ravens fans, however, do not have to worry about this with Joe. Not to mention Joe’s calm attitude. “Nothing upsets him to the point where it deters his performance. That’s an amazing quality and one you really look for in a quarterback,” Linta said.
Joe is the perfect QB for this town. He cares about winning, he wants to stay here, he is focused on football rather than money and he is blue collar type of guy. What more could we ask for? Joe will lead us to the Promised Land, but he can’t do it alone. He needs your support. So stop criticizing his every move and just let him do his thing.
Posted on 17 July 2012 by John Sears
Yesterday, just minutes before the 4 P.M. deadline, Ray Rice signed a 5 year, $40 million contract and Ravens fans were able to back away from the cliff a bit. Rice and his agent Todd France had been working with the Ravens all offseason (even while driving to the facility yesterday to sign the deal) in order to get this deal done and thank god they did.
Rice shed tears of joy as he signed the deal that would secure him for the rest of his life. It’s good to see Rice, who appears to be a pretty good guy, so happy and get such a good contract. He went about this whole negotiation process and offseason as a complete adult and professional. This doesn’t seem like it would be hard but in the NFL, this is hardly the norm.
I can’t tell you how much I wanted Drew Brees and Matt Forte to just shut their mouths and let their agents, who they hired to talk for them, actually do their jobs. Matt Forte wouldn’t shut up about the amount of loyalty he showed to the Bears and the lack of loyalty they had been showing him. And Drew Brees wouldn’t shut up about pretty much everything.
I mean, look at our own team in Ed Reed. Reed has lost the good graces of a lot of fans because he simply will not stop running his mouth. I don’t blame him for wanting more money and a new contract in the slightest bit. I would want the same thing in his position. But Ed, play out your current contract and then worry about it.
What players like Reed, Brees, and Forte need to realize though is, running to the media or talking about it on Twitter is not the way to go about it. Let the talks happen behind closed doors. I wouldn’t want everyone to know about me asking for a raise at my job.
Look, I don’t even blame a guy for sitting out of training camp or games but there comes a point where it becomes too public. You just shouldn’t criticize your boss in public when you aren’t getting what you want regardless of the profession you are in.
Ray Rice handled his contract exactly how a player should. He let his agent be the “bad guy” for him. Ray genuinely wanted to be back for training camp. He genuinely wanted to get a contract that would be fair for both him and the team (which is probably why he got more than Matt Forte). Rice never said a word about being mad at the team, never called anyone out, and most importantly, played out his original contract (see, Ed Reed).
It was reported that Rice and his agent were looking for money comparable to that of Adrian Peterson’s contract. Obviously, they didn’t get that so it’s easy to say they caved in at the last second. The reality is that they and everyone else knew they weren’t going to get that kind of money. They were merely negotiating. Todd France, Rice’s agent, said in an interview with Glenn Clark, “At the end of the day though it’s not about winning and losing. You seriously have to take it out of the equation. You can get very caught up on paperwork and very caught up on numbers. The kid just set up himself and his family for generation after generation.”
And that’s exactly it. It was never about getting the most possible money for Ray. He just wanted what was fair and to play football. He didn’t want this process to drag out. “That wasn’t his MO. You got some guys in the league that handle things differently. Ray, he is all about football,” said France.
Ray genuinely cares about the fans here in Baltimore, as exhibited by his constant charity work. He cares what people think about him. France said, “As he told me, I’ve never played this game for money, Todd. I don’t want it to be all about the money. I don’t want people to think I’m greedy.” Don’t worry Ray, we don’t. We are happy to have you in Baltimore for another five years.
Posted on 06 July 2012 by John Sears
Posted on 29 June 2012 by jasonbaier
We are now one month away from the start of training camp and there are several questions surrounding the Ravens. Will they sign Ray Rice and Joe Flacco to long term extension before the start of the regular season? In the case of Ray Rice they don’t have a month to get things ironed out. The Ravens and Ray Rice’s agent have until July 16th to work out a deal or Rice will play this season under the franchise tag which will pay him a more than generous salary of 7.7 million! In Flacco’s case, he is in the last year of his rookie contract and in my opinion the Ravens are getting off cheap for what he has done for this organization in his first four years. Four playoff appearances, two AFC championship appearances and if it wasn’t for Lee Evans (maybe the biggest goat in Baltimore sports history) he would have at very least a Super Bowl appearance and in my opinion a world championship! They both deserve to be paid and the Ravens have a history of taking care of there own and I believe they will with these two up and coming superstars.
Who will replace Terrell Suggs? This is the 100 million dollar question. They will need a collective effort all around. Kruger, McPhee, and Kindle( if he can stay away from stairs) all need to take there games to a whole new level. It isn’t possible to replace Suggs, he meant to much to this team last year. He was the Defensive player of the year, you can’t just replace that. The whole team needs to step up, especially the offense and I think they will. Torrey Smith is primed for a breakout season, building off of his tremendous rookie season. The tight ends Pitta and Dickson are going to be huge and don’t forget Boldin and newcomer Jacoby Jones. He is another speedster who can blow the top off defenses. The offense is primed to take a huge step forward this year and lend a helping hand to the defense who has bailed them out so many times before.
The Ravens are facing a very tough schedule in 2012 and the media is already starting to count them out and all we have had is OTA’s. In the Ravens case its better to be counted out and be the underdog, they thrive in that role. Everyone is saying Suggs is out, Lewis is another year older, Reed doesn’t show up for mandatory workouts, but what they are forgetting is that we have a young talented team. Our secondary is primed to be the best in football with Webb, Smith, and Williams at corner and Reed and Pollard at safety. The defensive line is stout with Ngata, Cody, and McPhee. The offense lead by Flacco, Rice, Boldin, Smith and the tight ends, I like my chances. Lets all take a deep breath and see what happens when the ball is finally kicked off on Monday night September 10 at M&T Bank Stadium when the Bengals come to town. Everyone repeat after me in Ozzie we trust! Let’s Go Ravens!