Contract talks won't distract Joe Flacco
Ravens quarterback says he won't prevent negotiations from extending into regular season
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco answers questions after the first full-team practice of training camp. (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / July 26, 2012)
“That doesn’t matter to me,” Flacco said Thursday of whether he would delay discussions until after the upcoming season. “It’s not like I’m up in the offices negotiating my contract. I really don’t have any thought about it. That’s up to my agent. If he happens to call me one day in October, it’s not like I’m thinking about it. It’s not going to distract me. Like I said, I haven’t really thought about it at all, and I’m not thinking about it now. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”
Flacco, who spoke after the team’s first full day of training camp at the practice facility in Owings Mills, is the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards, touchdown passes, completions and attempts and at the age of 27, appears to be heading into the prime of his career. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti has said in the past that making a long-term commitment to Flacco, who is due to make $6.76 million in the final year of the rookie contract he signed shortly after the organization selected him in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft, is a priority.
Running back Ray Rice agreed to a five-year, $40 million extension with $24 million in guaranteed money last week. That signing would seem to suggest that the Ravens are eager to cement the two cornerstones of their offense, but Flacco said he’s not losing any sleep over the pace of the negotiations.
“I’m not worried about it, especially when you’re out here and however hot it was today, that’s the last thing on your mind,” he said. “I was glad for Ray. That is a big thing for our organization, to get this done. Ray’s a great back and it’s great to see that happen. I’m not worried about it. I haven’t been worried about it, and I’m not worried about it. It’ll happen one day and whenever it happens, I’ll be excited.”
Flacco was a Lee Evans touchdown reception away from helping the Ravens beat the New England Patriots in last year’s AFC championship game and advance to their first Super Bowl since the 2000 campaign.
Flacco said the objective during training camp is to help the offense make strides in its execution and productivity.
“We’ve got to go out there and I think we’ve got to attack and just become a little more accurate, a little bit more precise in everything that we do,” he said. “And I think I start that. I think it’s my job to get everybody on the same page so that when we go out there, there’s no errors, and we’re hitting on all cylinders. If something goes wrong, it’s because something crazy happened. I think if we can all get on the same page and we can all see the defense the same way, we’re going to be tough to stop. My job is to get everybody on the same page and execute.”