I sat down with Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti today during the annual owners meetings at The Breakers hotel in Palm Beach, Fla. Bisciotti talked about a variety of topics, including ongoing negotiations with Ray Rice and Joe Flacco, the future of Ray Lewis and Ray Rice and his thoughts on player safety in the NFL.
The full Q&A will be on our site later this evening, but here are a few of Bisciotti's thoughts to hold you over:
On the bounty situation with the Saints: "I was shocked that it existed in the NFL. It’s so silly when you think about it. These players are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a game. How can they be motivated by a $500 or $1,000 payment? It just doesn’t compute to me."
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On whether he still thinks about AFC championship game loss to New England: "Only mornings, afternoons and nights. Other than that, no."
On failure to win the big game: "I watched Art Modell win his trophy in what, 33 years? I know he won a couple of championships before they termed it the Super Bowl, but it was Super Bowl 67, so we’re talking about 33 years that Art waited to get his. The Drive and the Fumble will always be a part of him. He probably thinks that he should have gotten them 15 years earlier, but that’s the way this business is. You’re competing with 31 other teams. But yeah, the closer you get, the more it hurts. But your alternative is to root for mediocrity. There’s no other way."
On contract talks for Joe Flacco and Ray Rice: "They don’t give me updates really. [Vice President of Football Administration Pat Moriarty] and [General Manager Ozzie Newsome] have their numbers. They’re deep into, I’m sure, both of them. All I know is they’re suiting up for me this year. To me, that makes it easier for me to see. I’ll always watch with interest as most of our fans do, and all I can do is go back on our track record of all of our other great players and it always seems to work out. Interestingly enough, even the ones that we franchised over the years, there wasn’t a lot of animosity. I think our players realize that the Ravens negotiate earnestly and I think the agents know that, too. Just like you didn’t hear much about Ray Rice, we didn’t hear much about Suggs and [Haloti] Ngata either when those came up. And you didn’t hear much about Chris McAllister way back when. I just can’t involve myself with it. I can’t interject because it’s not my place."
On possibility of Rice holding out: "It’s realistic in the sense that other players do it. It’s not too realistic in the sense that, the kind of young man that Ray is. This is all up to his agent’s strategy, but Ray is not the kind of guy that, I think, needs to pursue that angle. If his agent convinces him that he has to, Ray is not the kind of guy that we fear will come in out of shape. If he does it, he does it. But I don’t think we’re going to see a drop-off in his performance this year."