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Ravens, Flacco agree to five-year, $30 million contract

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Joe Flacco won't face any delays in his bid to become the Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback.

Baltimore's top draft pick has agreed in principle to a five-year deal that could earn him up to $30 million and includes $8.75 million in guaranteed money. The agreement came late Wednesday night following a negotiating session between Pat Moriarty, the team's vice president of football administration, and Flacco's agent, Joe Linta.

Drafted 18th overall out of Delaware, Flacco will compete for the starting job with Troy Smith and Kyle Boller. Rookies, quarterbacks and injured veterans are scheduled to report to training camp Monday at McDaniel College in Westminster.

"I think Joe recognized how important it is for him to be here to practice. You get better by practicing at every position, but especially the quarterback position," first-year head coach John Harbaugh said Thursday. "He's starting his career off on the right foot."

When the Ravens drafted Flacco in April, general manager Ozzie Newsome called the 6-foot-6 quarterback "the guy to lead our football team into the future." There are no guarantees that Flacco will get the job out of training camp, but he won't have to blame a holdout for his inability to overtake Boller and Smith.

"We've got a chance to have him at training camp on time," Newsome said Thursday. "I give all that credit to his agent and Pat Moriarty for starting early and not being afraid to wait and see what the market is going to bear."

Flacco is the fourth first-round pick to agree to terms. When he arrives at camp, Flacco will be more concerned about playing up to his potential than outdoing the other quarterbacks competing for the job.

"I'm not worried about anybody else. I'm worried about going out there and playing your best football," Flacco said at minicamp in May. "You let things take care of themselves."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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