Ravens, Flacco's agent to chat at scouting combine

Joe Linta, the agent for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, confirmed on Wednesday that he and Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty, the team’s salary cap specialist, will begin discussions about a contract extension for the 27-year-old quarterback at next week’s NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Linta said he and Moriarty would have a brief chat over coffee, but it wouldn't be a “Hatfield and McCoy thing.” They will start talking about the framework of a new deal but they aren’t expected to exchange salary figures.

“We’re not going to have a press conference next Saturday to announce his extension,” Linta, who negotiated Flacco’s five-year rookie contract before the 2008 season, said jokingly. “In order to do Joe Flacco’s contract extension, we have to start somewhere. And that’s sitting down and chatting, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Flacco completed 57.6 percent of his passes for 3,610 yards and 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2011, his fourth season in the NFL. He has thrown for at least 3,600 yards and 20 touchdowns in each of his past three seasons. Flacco played well in the team’s loss to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game, completing 22 of his 36 attempts for 306 yards and a pair of touchdowns and one interception.

Last offseason, Flacco expressed frustration because the Ravens wouldn’t discuss a contract extension at the time. Recently, though, Flacco has downplayed questions about his desire to get a deal done during the 2012 offseason.

"The bottom line is, I'm not too worried about it either way," Flacco told The Sun in January. "Do I feel like I deserve one? Yeah. Do I feel like I'm going to get one? Yeah. If I don't get one, is it going to be a huge deal? No, it is what it is. It's not up to me. It's up to me to go out and put our team in the best spot to win football games."

And with Flacco at quarterback, they have done just that. His 44 regular-season wins are the most by any quarterback in his first four seasons in the NFL. He is the first quarterback to lead his team to the playoffs in each of his first four seasons. He has won five playoff games and played in two AFC championship games.

“If the game is about wins and losses, he has to be in the top five [quarterbacks],” Linta said. “He is a player who has been extremely durable, never missed a game. And he’s done something that no one has ever done. In his four years in the league, he has never missed a game and has more wins than any other quarterback.”

NFL Network first reported that Linta and the Ravens would start contract discussions at next week's NFL scouting combine.

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