The agent told USA Today that the extension talks 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. That prompted both sides to put off the negotiations until after the 2012-13 season, when Flacco's value was at his highest following his MVP performance in Super Bowl XLVII.
"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.''
Linta told the paper that the Ravens' decision to walk away from the talks before this past season cost the team "$35 million."
This offseason, the Ravens have undergone an unprecedented roster turnover for a Super Bowl champion, losing eight key contributors from last year's team. Ray Lewis and Matt Birk, a Linta client, both retired. However, the Ravens, who were up against the salary cap, opted not to re-sign free agents Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Cary Williams and Ed Reed. They also released hard-hitting safety Bernard Pollard and then traded Flacco's favorite target, Anquan Boldin, for a draft pick in a cost-cutting move.
Some attributed the heavy losses to the Flacco's deal, though the quarterback has a modest $6.8 million salary cap figure in 2013.
"I have no sympathy. None," Linta said.
Flacco's deal, which was finalized just over a month after he led the Ravens to a victory in Super Bowl XLVII and completed one of the best postseasons ever by a quarterback, included a $29 million signing bonus and a $62 million payout through the first three years of the deal. It was the biggest contract in NFL history for less than two months as quarterback Aaron Rodgers reached agreement on a new deal with the Green Bay Packers that surpassed the Flacco pact.