OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Joe Flacco was one of the first players to address the media during the Baltimore Ravens locker room cleanout day. He walked without a noticeable limp and was in good spirits. Flacco was positive about the upcoming season.
Contrary to popular belief, Flacco feels the offense can be explosive and doesn’t desperately need a new speed element in fluxed into the roster. He did acknowledge that some things may need to change but all in all, Flacco feels good about the players that are currently on the roster.
Joe Flacco talks about his salary cap and rehabilitation
“We have a lot of good guys coming back. Hopefully we keep as healthy as possible when I do get ready to come back next year, and [we’ve] got a good group of guys,” Flacco said. “I’m heading into this [offseason] just like any other year: optimistic about our future. And we’ll have to do as much work as we can to make sure we come back ready to go.”
One of the guys that set to return for the 2016 season is Steve Smith Sr. He and Flacco have formed a bond that showed on the field. It is no coincidence that most of Flacco’s targets are directed towards Smith Sr. Flacco is looking forward to being able to take the field again with his favorite receiver. He is well aware of how the two players will have to work their way back from severe injuries.
“It’s going to be a long road for him, just like myself, and there’s nobody better out there for us than him.” Flacco said. “Anytime you can have a guy like that back in the locker room, back out there on Sundays for you, it’s a big step. He’s a great wide receiver; we have a great relationship.”
The big issue during the offseason will be the $28 million cap number that Flacco has. He is aware of the situation and said that he isn’t too concerned with what the future holds. Flacco knows that he wants to be back with the Ravens and a restructure will be a key factor in his team’s ability to maintain their roster.
Flacco’s cap hit doubles next year. It was in the $14 million neighborhood in 2014 and 2015. The cap number is set to grow even more in 2017 when it balloons to $31 million. Flacco knows the deal was going to be bigger on the backend.
“The first few years of my deal, the cap number wasn’t very big. So, you don’t really have any other way around it [but] to have a monster one at the end of it. You know it’s coming, unless the salary cap makes some kind of enormous jump,” Flacco said. “It’s really kind of out of my control. It’s just an issue that these guys are used to dealing with, day-in and day-out.”