Baltimore Ravens  


Joe Flacco to honor Ravens contract during extension talks


OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is in a contract year. But according to those around him, it's the farthest thing from his mind.

Discussions on a new deal for Flacco are ongoing between agent Joe Linta and Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty, and while there's hope, there's not a deadline for the parties to reach an agreement.

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"All the conversations have been productive," Linta said Wednesday morning. "We've gone back-and-forth on proposals. And the biggest thing I can tell you is that Joe's so focused on winning that all of this isn't something he's paying a lot of attention to, he's got such a chip on his shoulder about winning now. The most telling quote from Joe I can give you is that he told me, 'I've got a contract, and I'm gonna honor it. He's part of a rare breed in this day and age."

Wednesday is Flacco's third day of practice, as the quarterbacks work with the rookies and injured veterans at the club's facility. The veteran reporting time is 6:40 p.m. ET on Wednesday, with the team's first full practice set for Thursday.

But Linta left the door open for negotiations to continue after the Ravens get training camp going. There is, again, no deadline in his mind.

"Not on our end -- Pat can call me today, Halloween, Thanksgiving, whenever, and Joe gives me the leeway to talk whenever," Linta said. "We're not creating any artificial deadlines. I do know once he's on the field, his focus is there, but we can keep working."

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Flacco's salary cap charge for 2012 is in excess of $8 million. The Ravens were less than $1 million under the cap before finishing Ray Rice's deal, which created more room, last week. And Linta said his belief is any cap concerns could be addressed in the structure of a new deal, so he doesn't see that as a stumbling block.

Which means it's hard to predict when a new contract will come.

"It could happen by lunch, or two years from now," Linta said. "I'd say we're close enough to keep talking, but far enough apart where it's not done. They clearly value the kid as a significant player. Anyone who watches the film knows why. … We've had very productive conversations - they've been cordial, and they're ongoing, and have been between Pat and myself 98 percent of the time."

And one last time, Linta promised Flacco's focus is far from his paychecks: "The only distraction for Joe would be me calling him. I've been doing this a long time, and I've rarely seen a guy so single-minded."



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