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Flacco talks continue, described as 'amicable'

The Baltimore Sun

Contract discussions between the Ravens and the agent for quarterback Joe Flacco remain active following an opening round of negotiations characterized as "amicable," according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

No deal is imminent, though, and plenty of work remains to be done to reach an agreement, according to sources.

Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty and Joe Linta, the agent for the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, met at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis last weekend. It marked the first talks between the two sides since hitting an impasse last August and tabling negotiations until after the season.

The first set of talks were described as positive and productive. The next stage of talks is expected to unfold soon with nothing formally scheduled yet, but are likely to pick up soon now that the combine is over.

The Ravens are facing a March 4 deadline at 4 p.m. to use the franchise tag to prevent Flacco from becoming an unrestricted free agent now that his rookie contract has expired.

Meanwhile, the three-year contract extension signed by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady isn't expected to have any effect on the Flacco talks.

Brady received a $30 million signing bonus while lowering his base salaries to $1 million and $2 million over the next two years, decreasing his salary-cap figure to $13.8 this season from an originally scheduled $21.55 million.

Because of the Brady deal, the exclusive franchise tender is down to $19.63 million from $20.46 million for the 2013 fiscal year. If the Ravens use a nonexclusive franchise tender on Flacco of $14.6 million, he would be allowed to field offers from other teams.

If the Ravens opted not to exercise their right of first refusal and match any offer sheet, they would be compensated with a pair of first-round draft picks.

Due to Brady's deal, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees' $17.4 million salary-cap figure for 2013 is one of the top five salary-cap figures that the exclusive franchise tender is derived from, along with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning's $20.85 million  ($13 million base salary), Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford's $20.82 million ($12.5 million base salary), Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning's $20 million ($20 million) and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's $19.596 million ($11.6 million base salary).

The Steelers are reportedly interested in restructuring Roethlisberger's deal to create more salary-cap room, which would likely further decrease the exclusive franchise tender.

Here's a breakdown of the Brady deal, year by year:

In 2013, Brady's salary is $1 million with a salary-cap figure of $13.8 million. The $1 million is fully guaranteed.

In 2014, Brady's salary-cap figure is $14.8 milion and his base salary of $2 million is fully guaranteed.

In 2015, his salary-cap figure is $13 million with a base salary of $7 million that's guaranteed for injury only and becomes fully guaranteed for skill and injury if he's on the roster for the last game of the 2014 regular season.

In 2016, Brady has a salary-cap figure is $14 million and his $8 million base salary is guaranteed for injury only at signing and is guaranteed for skill and injury if he's on the roster the last game of the 2014 regular season.

In 2017, Brady has a salary-cap figure of $15 million and he has a base salary of $9 million.

The base salary is guaranteed for injury only at the time of signing and skill and injury if he's
on the roster for the last game of the 2014 regular season.

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