Agent Joe Linta reiterated last night that his recent comment about the Ravens being “dumb” for not signing Joe Flacco before last season was made more to defend his client amid accusations that the quarterback was greedy and responsible for the team’s heavy offseason roster turnover.
“I disagreed with them then and I still think they should have signed him [last] August, but this is not news how I feel,” Linta said. “I said what I said in the context of Joe being accused of being greedy and the cause of the purge of the Ravens.
“They know. [Vice President of Football Administration] Pat Moriarty is a complete pro. The Ravens are lucky to have him. Pat Moriarty can come to my house tomorrow for dinner. Pat knows how I feel about him.”
Linta acknowledged that he was surprised how much attention has been given to recent comments he made to USA Today that were published over the weekend. Linta told the newspaper that extension talks for Flacco broke down last August because of a disagreement on $1 million in non-guaranteed base salary in the final year of the proposed six-year extension.
Both sides eventually tabled the negotiations until a couple of weeks after Flacco led the Ravens to a victory in Super Bowl XLVII and completed one of the best postseasons ever for a quarterback.
"I've never in my life seen a dumber move,” Linta told the newspaper. “I guess people can say, 'Well, Joe was dumb, too.' It could have been [dumb], God forbid, if he got hurt. But $1 million to [Ravens owner] Steve Bisciotti six years from now? That's like $100 bucks for you or me today.''
The Ravens have not publicly responded to Linta's comments.
Flacco signed a six-year, $120.6 million extension on March 4, temporarily becoming the NFL’s highest paid player. The salary cap figure in year one of the deal is $6.8 million, a modest number considering the size of the deal. While the Ravens traded Flacco’s favorite target, Anquan Boldin, in a cost-cutting move and allowed several key free agents to head elsewhere, it would be misguided to blame the quarterback for the departures.
That, according to Linta, was his point when he made the highly scrutinized comments.
“If people didn’t understand the context of my comment that I was purely sticking up for Joe Flacco if people were accusing him of being greedy starting the purge, I take exception to that,” Linta said. “If anybody has a problem with me sticking up for Joe Flacco, tough.”
Linta currently has five clients on the Ravens roster: Flacco, rookie quarterback Dayne Crist, rookie fullback Kyle Juszczyk and second-year offensive linemen Gino Gradkowski and Antoine McClain,
He made it clear that he respects the Ravens’ front office with which he’ll continue to do business.
“Of course I do,” Linta said. “That doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything they do. I’m surprised that one guy’s opinion can carry so much weight. It was only my opinion and they knew my opinion five months ago on the subject. It’s not news to them.
“It was a tough deal. It was a lot of emotions with the whole thing. But I fight with my wife and I care about her. I can fight with Pat Moriarty and he knows how I feel about him. I think the world of him. End