Should the Ravens decide to make Super Bowl Most Valuable Player quarterback Joe Flacco their exclusive franchise player by a Monday afternoon NFL deadline, the cost of business has now become slightly less expensive.
With Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roetblisberger restructuring his contract Thursday, his salary-cap figure for 2013 has been reduced to $13.596 million from a previous figure of $19.596 million.
That development dropped the exclusive franchise tag to $19.136 million, the average of the top five quarterback salary-cap numbers. That figure is derived from Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's $20.82 million salary-cap number ($12.5 million base salary), New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning's $20.35 million ($13 million base salary), Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning's $20 million ($20 million base salary), New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees' $17.4 million ($9.75 million base salary) and San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers' $17.11 million ($12 million base salary).
This week, Roethlisberger and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who received a $30 million signing bonus, restructured their deals that decreased the exclusive franchise tender from a previous high of $20.46 million.
If the Super Bowl champions, who remained in negotiations with Flacco as of late Thursday afternoon, are unable to sign him to a long-term deal by 4 p.m. Monday, they can prevent the 2008 first-round draft pick from becoming an unrestricted free agent by making him their franchise player.
If Flacco becomes the Ravens' nonexclusive franchise player, it would cost $14.6 million. However, Flacco would be free to negotiate and sign an offer sheet with any NFL team. The Ravens would still retain the right of first refusal to match any offer sheet. If they opted not to match, they would be compensated with a pair of first-round draft picks.
Both Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Ozzie Newsome have expressed confidence in their chances of getting Flacco under contract on a long-term basis.