www.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/ravens-insider/bal-baltimore-ravens-quarterback-joe-flacco-says-now-lets-take-care-of-the-rest-of-the-guys-20130304,0,7334344.story

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Joe Flacco says, 'Now, let's take care of the rest of the guys'

Ravens quarterback inks $120.6 million contract that created salary-cap space that could be used to retain other players; Flacco has a $6.8 million 2013 salary-cap figure

By Aaron Wilson

The Baltimore Sun

3:33 PM EST, March 4, 2013

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Considering that he just signed a $120.6 million contract that included a $29 million signing bonus, a total of $52 million in guaranteed money and a $62 million payout in the first three years of the deal, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has an extremely low salary-cap figure for this year.

With a cap impact of $6.8 million for the 2013 fiscal year assigned to Flacco, the Ravens are $11.263 million under the NFL salary-cap limit of $123 million. That should allow the Super Bowl champions to potentially retain some of Flacco's teammates, including inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe,wide receiver Anquan Boldin and a restricted free agent class that includes tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson and defensive linean Arthur Jones.

The Ravens avoided having to make Flacco their franchise player, which would have entailed either a $19.1 million exclusive tender of a $14.896 million nonexclusive tender counting against the salary cap.

"I don't know too much about the details," Flacco said today during a news conference at the Ravens' training complex. "I know it's going to be less on the cap than an exclusive or nonexclusive franchise tag would be. I know we have a lot of good players on the team, and I love to play with those guys so hopefully it works out very good for the organization and we can keep as many people as we need. That's all I really know. I don't know too much about how it was structured and the talks that went into that."

Joe Linta, the agent for Flacco, told The Baltimore Sun, following the press conference that the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player has always been cognizant of how his contract would affect his teammates.

"The fact that we were able to keep the cap number low enough in the first year that it preserves their ability to re-sign at least some of these guys and keep the core of the team together was important," Linta said. "It was really a mutual assured destruction to put the franchise tag either one of them on him. It was a big benefit to both parties to be able to figure something out. It came up in conversation that we wanted to make sure we could work with them on the cap to help preserve the team and keep the team together." 

The salary cap figure balloons to $29 million in the fourth year, a structure that will likely mean the deal will be restructured after the first three years.

"Obviously, when you're the quarterback you aim to make a certain amount of money, really just based on what the value is for quarterbacks these days," Flacco said. "I don't think that was ever an issue. Once we got to the point where it was structured somewhat here, somewhat there, you're happy with it. It's not really about the money, it's about that respect.

"When you get to a point where you're happy with it, then it's all about saying, 'All right I'm good.' Now let's take care of the rest of the guys. Getting it done by this date is obviously, I would hope help us out on the football field."

awilson@baltsun.com

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