By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
12:21 PM EST, January 14, 2013
Having already outdueled Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck this postseason, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco now takes aim at New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in a rematch of last year's AFC championship game.
And with his rookie contract set to expire after this season and negotiations tabled until the offseason after hitting an impasse in August, Flacco could be getting more expensive thanks to his performances in two playoff games.
The 6-foot-6, 245-pound former first-round draft pick from Delaware has completed 30 of 57 passes for 613 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 120.0 passer rating in victories over the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.
"I've been the one putting him on a pedestal saying Joe's a top-five, elite quarterback, and he's proving it," agent Joe Linta told The Baltimore Sun today. "He's in the rarified air of having already won seven playoff games in his short career. He's really demonstrating that he's one of the top guys out there."
The latest blockbuster quarterback deal was New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees' five-year, $100 million deal that included a $37 million signing bonus, $60.5 million in total guaranteed money for an annual average compensation of $20 million per year.
It remains unclear how rich a potential Flacco deal will wind up at, but it would greatly help the Ravens' salary-cap situation to avoid having to use the franchise tag on him to retain him for next season.
Linta said Flacco isn't concerned about his unresolved contract status, maintaining a laser focus on his business on the field, which resumes Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.
"Joe's not worried about the contact right now," Linta said. "The focus is on the next two games, to get the team to where he's always wanted to take it. That's far more important to Joe than a money situation."