Ravens Joe Flacco: The Ultimate Team Player

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The Baltimore Ravens faced salary cap issues as they entered the free agency period. The team has a number of veteran players under contract, which has limited their cap space. One of the big- gest cap numbers was the one occupied by Joe Flacco.

Flacco signed a six-year, $120,600,000 contract with the Ravens. It includes a $29,000,000 signing bonus, $29,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $20,100,000.

The huge contract came after Flacco lead the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Flacco set record for games without an interception and passing yards in a playoff season.

The Ravens offered a contract to Flacco prior to that season, but he and his agent Joe Linta decided to roll the dice hoping the 2012 season would be special.

If Flacco played under his previous deal this upcoming season, he would count $28.6 million against the cap. The Ravens had no doubt that Flacco would agree to redo the contract and give them more space to maneuver in free agency.

The idea of redoing his deal is something that Flacco knew would come about. He has always been a team player and wants nothing more than to win with the Ravens.

“No matter what you do, there’s no way of getting around having a big cap number at some point or a consistently big cap number. 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,” Flacco said. “You know it’s coming, unless the salary cap makes some kind of enormous jump, but 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.”

Flacco is coming off of his first injury as an NFL player. He tore multiple ligaments in his knee against the St. Louis Rams in November. He is expected to be back for the start of training camp, according to multiple reports.

The Ravens had some trouble along the offensive line last year. Left tackle Eugene Monroe went down and his backup allowed the hit on Flacco that resulted in the season ending injury. Monroe is said to be the starter for now, but it seems as if the Ravens would like to move on from him.

Kelechi Osemele filled in at left tackle at the end of the season. He is set to become a free agent next week. The extra cap space that was created by Flacco’s contract renegotiation may open up some room for the Ravens to sign Osemele.

The team is supposed to revolve around the quarterback and in the Ravens case, it truly does. The team is calm under pressure thanks to Flacco’s stoic personality. No moment is ever too big for him. He is always ready and willing to weather the storm.

Last season was an excellent example of Flacco’s leadership qualities. The offensive line allowed him to get hit constantly. He was always under pressure. Even though they did not play well, not once did Flacco throw them under the bus. There was no finger pointing.

The Ravens have closed the book on last season and are looking forward to the 2016 season. They are set to have their leader, Joe Flacco with them in 2016 and beyond.