Tag Archive | "joe linta"

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Does Ozzie Newsome deserve some blame in the Flacco-Cameron saga?

Posted on 11 December 2012 by Drew Forrester

If you’re one of those who like to play the blame-game, Monday’s dismissal of Cam Cameron offers you a smorgasbord of options on which to feast.

In no specific order, you have the following:

John Harbaugh, the man who employed Cam for the last 4+ seasons, and the person in charge of the on-field product, which includes being in touch with his players and their festering aggravation with one of his coaches.

Steve Bisciotti, who, while rightfully considered in general a “good owner”, has spent a little too much time over the years hob-knobbing with the players to the extent he might be closer with them then he should be.

Joe Flacco, perhaps the main spoke in the Cameron firing-wheel, and the guy who potentially might have suffered the most while working under his now former boss.  But, if Cameron was inconsistent as a play-caller and offensive coordinator, Flacco has to wear the same basic scarlet letter, for he, too, hasn’t exactly been a shining beacon of consistency in the last four months.

The Ravens defense, which has been occasionally superb but more often a liability this season, particularly in the final 5 minutes of the team’s most two recent losses to the Steelers and Redskins.  True, they were very good earlier in the year against the Chiefs and the Browns and the Chargers.  They were also woefully exposed by the Cowboys, Texans, Steelers (with a bum at quarterback) and Redskins.

The Ravens offense, with players in key positions not playing up to par week-in and week-out.  I’m all for Jim Caldwell taking over at this point, but I’d be shocked if he can give back to Anquan Boldin that step he’s lost over the last year or so…or turn Michael Oher into a premier pass blocker as a left tackle…or heal Marshal Yanda’s bad ankle within two weeks…or get Torrey Smith to run his routes to completion the way they’re designed in the playbook.

And then, there’s one other name to add to the mix:  Ozzie Newsome.

Let the continuing story of “how Cam got canned” be examined with Ozzie’s name in mind, for it’s Newsome who wasn’t able to ink a new deal with his team’s franchise quarterback, thus paving the way for Joe Flacco to play the 2012 campaign as a “lame duck”.

Yes, there always remains the option of the franchise tag for Flacco.  But, as any player will tell you, that’s a band-aid – a nice, lucrative one – he’d rather not wear if it’s possible.

The easiest way to start any conversation about Joe Flacco and his contract situation is to simply say this about him and his future in Baltimore:  The Ravens want him back in 2013 and Flacco would like to return for a 6th season.

There’s no debating that at this point.  The two parties are still in love.

But – and here’s where we start the dissection of how things are off kilter – these are very complicated times in Owings Mills, particularly when it comes to assessing Flacco’s value.

And who’s fault is that?

If you ask Flacco and/or his agent, Joe Linta, they’re going to place the blame squarely on the employer — the Ravens, the offense and, naturally, Cam Cameron.

Linta, as a natural reaction to his Flacco’s contract status being in the spotlight, would argue up and down that with each passing game where the Baltimore offense was stagnant or stuck in neutral because of Cameron’s inconsistency, his client was effectively “losing money”.

Honestly — he’s right.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that his client doesn’t bear some of that responsibility.  He, Flacco, that is, might be costing himself money with every incompletion or strip-sack or poor audible.

But the agent would never admit that to the general manager of the team.

Instead – and if you close your eyes and let the movie play out in your head, you’ll hear it for yourself – I’m quite certain with every “new conversation” Linta and Newsome have had over the few months that Joe’s representative has reminded Ozzie in no uncertain terms that Cameron and the on-again, off-again Ravens offense is costing the quarterback big money.

“Ozzie, I respect you and the organization and so does Joe,” Linta is likely saying.  “But you can’t possibly think you’re doing my client a true service by having Cam Cameron operate that offense in such a manner that it’s clearly hindering his qualities as a high-level NFL player.  You’ve known for a year now that Cam and Joe can’t exist together in the long run.  They’ve tried to make it work and it’s just not going to happen.  All you’re doing by trying to force this Cameron-Flacco relationship on both of them is costing Joe Flacco money.  And, even though I make little in comparison to my client, you’re costing ME money, too.  Get this Cameron thing sorted out and let’s make Joe the $90 million player he deserves to be.”

I imagine a conversation like that has been going on nearly every Monday or so for the last 13 weeks.

(Please see next page)

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Agent: No timetable for completion of Flacco contract

Posted on 19 July 2012 by Luke Jones

With Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice signing a new five-year contract earlier this week, the Ravens now shift their attention to quarterback Joe Flacco with the hopes of completing a long-term deal before the start of training camp next week.

But how realistic that is remains to be seen as agent Joe Linta and Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty continue negotiations.

According to a report by former Ravens scout Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, a source with knowledge of the situation said there’s a “75 percent chance” of completing a new contract for the fifth-year quarterback before the start of training camp next week. The 27-year-old signal-caller is entering the final year of his rookie contract signed in 2008.

However, Linta reminded everyone not to believe everything they read when he joined AM 1570 WNST on Thursday.

“That was news to me. That’s good, that’s a good number,” Linta said. “You just laugh at people who do that. I also understand the media. You guys have a job to do. You are trying to get some content. Somebody says something to him that says they are making progress and he deduces 75 percent. He picked a number out, it’s fine. It’s not a big deal. Like I said, he is just doing his job. There’s no truth to it, but he is doing his job.”

With Rice’s $40 million contract clearing $2.7 million away from the projected salary cap for 2012, general manager Ozzie Newsome now has more cap room to intensify negotiations, which wasn’t as feasible when the Ravens had less than $1 million of space prior to Monday. Flacco is scheduled to make $6.76 million in the final year of his contract.

Flacco told WNST.net earlier this offseason he would not set a firm deadline to cut off negotiations, saying he was open to continuing talks into the start of the season if talks were progressing. Finding parameters for Flacco’s value has been difficult with Peyton Manning and Drew Brees — two quarterbacks clearly in the next pay grade — being the only other signal-callers to receive lucrative deals this offseason.

“I would say that the percent importance there is zero,” said Linta when asked if the deal needed to be done by the start of camp. “If we do this deal today at lunchtime, Joe will be fine with it. If we do this deal three years from now, Joe will be fine with it. I promise you that. He just wants to play the game and win. Obviously, any human being wants to be recognized for what they are worth, but that’s secondary and that’s my job.”

The Ravens can negotiate with more leverage now in knowing the Rice contract is finished, meaning the 2013 franchise tag will be at their disposal to use on the quarterback. Had the Ravens not agreed to a long-term deal with Rice, a nightmarish scenario could have played out in which the Ravens would have been forced to choose one to franchise while the other potentially reached the free-agent waters.

As is the case with any negotiation, the lack of a firm deadline or any real urgency could slow the pace of negotiations. With the Ravens now being able to tag Flacco next offseason without any thought of Rice, both sides know the quarterback isn’t going anywhere in 2013. In order to maximize the potential value of a deal, Flacco’s best bet might be to play out the season in hopes of posting career numbers.

“They know he is the best guy they have had here ever,” Linta said. “It’s a tough, long road to do this, but it’s not an unpleasant one. What people don’t know about Joe Flacco is his drive and desire to win a Super Bowl and take this team to the next level supersedes his desire for money.”

The University of Delaware product has 13,816 passing yards and 82 touchdowns in his first four years in the league and has led the Ravens to at least one postseason victory in each of his first four seasons, something no other quarterback in NFL history has done. Flacco drew criticism earlier this offseason for stating he believed he was the best quarterback in the NFL.

“He’s one of the best,” Linta said. “I’m not going to sit here and say he is the best. When I said six months ago that he is in the top five, he is clearly in the top five. Anyone who watched film would say that. Anybody that doesn’t watch film could say, ‘Oh he’s crazy, he’s ninth statistically.’ It doesn’t matter. What matters is what does he do on the field and does he make correct [and] proper decisions.

“There are people in the media that don’t watch the film and all they have to go on are statistics. There are a lot of guys that are on television that don’t know the difference between a 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.”

Listen to the entire Joe Linta interview with WNST.net’s Drew Forrester HERE.

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