When Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome walks through the locker room past Joe Flacco, other players start up a chant: "Pay the man, pay the man."
The Ravens' owner, Steve Bisciotti, made clear Thursday he intends to do just that.
Bisciotti said that the two sides were "real close" to a deal when the talks were tabled just before the start of this season, and he's "very comfortable" that an agreement on a long-term contract extension for Flacco will be reached in the coming months.
"We have a franchise quarterback, he's going to get franchise money," Bisciotti said in an interview with a small group of reporters Thursday. "That franchise-money thing is about as hard to define as the word 'elite,' which we've had to dissect a hundred different ways. We've got our quarterback for the next 10 years, and we're going to ride Joe. And we said in the last couple of years that we believed he can get us to Super Bowls and win some."
Flacco, who has thrown eight touchdowns and no interceptions in the postseason, technically could become a free agent in March if his agent, Joe Linta, can't reach an agreement on an extension with the Ravens. However, the Ravens won't let it get to that point. They'd apply the franchise tag on the fifth-year quarterback, putting him in line to make $14.6 million next season if a deal isn't reached by July.
Flacco himself practically shrugged Thursday when asked about potentially being a free agent after the Ravens play the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.
"It's real simple," said Flacco, who made $6.76 million this year in the final season of his rookie contract. "We didn't agree on a number, and I didn't really care to discuss it any further once it got to that point. Bottom line is I'm not the guy going up into their offices and negotiating with them every day anyways. It was really never a concern of mine, and I never really thought about it. Even in the offseason, when you think about it a little bit, they are really all good thoughts.
"It's a good problem to have and to be talking about."
Ravens confident Joe Flacco will remain their quarterback past the Super Bowl
Seattle Times | Feb 1