Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that the although there hasn’t been any discussions between the Ravens and QB Joe Flacco regarding a long-term contract extension in recent weeks, the two sides are expected to meet at this year’s NFL Combine.
Baltimore is almost certain to use their franchise tag on him in the next few weeks, and the only consideration in that regard is whether or not to use the the exclusive or non-exclusive designation. It’s a decision that could cost the Ravens $6 million if they decide to apply the exclusive franchise tag, but this would also ensure Flacco would be back next season. The non-exclusive tag would allow teams to negotiate a contract with Flacco, but would require them to part with two first-round picks in they were to reach an agreement.
The Ravens have until March 4 to make a decision regarding which tag to apply.
Flacco is said to be targeting a deal that would pay him an annual salary of $20 million, which would firmly plant him among the highest paid players in the game. Baltimore is in a very tough situation as they have a number of key free agents to address this offseason, but retaining Flacco will almost certainly guarantee that they’ll be losing some of them.
We have Flacco listed as the No. 1 best available player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.