Joe Flacco worth $16M per year to Baltimore Ravens

Print's Ian Rapoport reported a week ago that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's camp plans to aim higher than Peyton Manning's $18 million annual salary in contract talks this offseason.

Flacco's asking price might have raised a few eyebrows around the NFL, but the Ravens weren't surprised. Jason LaCanfora reported on CBS' "The Super Bowl Today" that team owner Steve Bisciotti already was willing to fork over "$16 million or so" before the 2012 season even began. If Flacco emerges victorious in Super Bowl XLVII, he's expected to seek "upwards of $20 million" annually in a contract that could make him the highest-paid player in the NFL.

Whether or not Flacco is worthy of that status is immaterial. His value is set at whatever the Ravens are willing to pay.

As a precursor to a new deal, the Ravens are fully expected to apply the franchise tag to Flacco. That transaction will entail a salary-cap hit of roughly $15 million, which will cause repercussions elsewhere on the roster. Bisciotti acknowledges the cap situation could cost the team a couple of key players, with impending free-agent pass rusher Paul Kruger and cornerback Cary Williams as the likely candidates to seek greener pastures.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.