By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
5:55 AM EST, January 4, 2013
As far as Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is concerned, this is the time to be thinking about opponents' nickel and dime packages, not the dollars associated with his unresolved contract situation.
Now that his rookie contract is expiring after being paid a base salary of $6.76 million in the final year of his deal, Flacco is focused on the playoffs instead of a pending negotiation that will determine whether he'll play next year under the franchise tag or secure a long-term deal to stay in Baltimore.
Flacco declined the Ravens' lucrative offer in August that would have paid him as one of the NFL's highest compensated quarterbacks and discussions were tabled until after the season.
Barring a breakthrough, though, in talks between agent Joe Linta and Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty -- their negotiations were cordial in August -- Flacco could wind up as the Ravens' franchise player during the offseason. That would be expensive, to the tune of roughly $14.642 million under the projected quarterback franchise tag number for 2013.
"I don’t really look at it that way," Flacco said when asked if he thought he had hurt or helped his contract status with his play this season. "I go out there, and I play football. You try to lead this
team to victories. That’s what we are trying to do that right now.
"That’s all I’m concerned about is making a playoff run and making the Super Bowl. All that other stuff will take care of itself. Whatever happens, happens. It’s not really that big of a deal at the end of the day.”
The Ravens' and Flacco's preference remains to work something out. Either way, he's not going anywhere.
"I don't know much about negotiations," NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell said in a telephone interview with The Baltimore Sun. "I don't understand where they are going. It's tough to win in this league without a quality quarterback. Many have debated what are they going to do. Flacco is a pretty good guy, but I don't know where they stand at the end of the day. You would think they'll get something done at some point."