Flacco holding out? Say it ain't so, Joe!

Aw, Joe, say it ain't so that your contract talks will drag on and you and the Ravens won't be able to reach a long-term agreement ("Flacco talks to begin at combine," Feb. 12). Baltimore loves you and we're so proud of your play for the last five years.

You've shown us you're a blue collar Joe just like the rest of us — only with a lot more talent — and we don't want to believe you could hold the Ravens hostage for millions of dollars your great- grandchildren will never be able to spend.

Does it always have to come down to money? You didn't strike us as someone whose ego was willing to hold out to become the highest-paid quarterback in history.

Whether it's Eli, Peyton, Tom or Drew money, you know you would be very well compensated within the top tier of the NFL. After the way you performed in the playoffs and Super Bowl, you have nothing left to prove and you deserve the respect you've earned.

You and the Ravens have created so much goodwill and pride in our city. We Baltimoreans have long memories, and we hold grudges. If cap money is tied up, that may prevent us from re-signing Anquan Boldin, Paul Kruger, Dannelle Ellerby and Cary Williams.

That's not a good set up for the team in 2013, and I think it would reflect directly on you. That definitely impacts your popularity and your image.

No one wants to give up on our local hero. You call the shots, Joe. Joe Linta does your bidding. You are among us and you know how big the stakes are.

So, Joe: Sign on the dotted line and let's get this thing done. That new contract will be more money than you've ever dreamed of, and no one can put a price on what you mean to the Ravens and to Baltimore.

Ruth Fleishman, Baltimore

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