When Joe Flacco briefly became the highest-paid player in NFL history after leading Baltimore to a Super Bowl XLVII victory, the Ravens understood the deal was back-loaded against the salary cap to force a renegotiation in 2016.
Flacco's cap number currently is $28.55 million, which ranks behind only Drew Brees' $30 million and Ndamukong Suh's $28.6 million this year.
To that end, Ravens senior vice president of administration Pat Moriarty was expected to meet with Flacco's agent at the NFL Scouting Combine this week to discuss a new contract.
Coach John Harbaugh expressed confidence on Thursday that a new agreement will be reached.
"He knows that he's in it for the long haul and he wants to put the best team we can on the field," Harbaugh said, via the Baltimore Sun. "He also wants to earn what he's worth, and whatever he signs for, he's going to want to prove that he's worth it, too. That's just how Joe thinks. I'm pretty fired up about it. I'll be really surprised and disappointed if it doesn't get done."
Although general manager Ozzie Newsome has insisted that the Ravens can remain competitive without restructuring Flacco's contract, a new deal could reduce the quarterback's cap number by as much as $9 million.
That's crucial for a team with the league's second-smallest cap space and several needs to fill, not least of which is a mega contract for impending free agent guard Kelechi Osemele.
The Ravens are making an aggressive push to re-sign Osemele, per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, offering to make him the second-highest paid offensive player, behind Flacco.
To do so without a Flacco restructure will likely comprise the roster in other areas.