According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, teams around the league have already been “contemplating” the idea of making a run at Ravens QB Joe Flacco should they place the non-exclusive franchise tag on him.
The non-exclusive franchise tag would allow an NFL team to part with first-round draft picks in the event that they’re able to reach an agreement with the player. Baltimore could obviously prevent all of this from happening simply by using the exclusive franchise tag on Flacco, but that’s a difference of almost $6 million. The exclusive tag will run the Ravens over $20 million.
Florio speculates that the Browns, who have a staggering amount of cap space to work with, could a team to watch as they could look to create a poison-pill situation for the Ravens by fronting loading a contract and making it impossible for them to match.
Flacco seems to be prepared to maximize his situation, but he also said that he intends to be back in Baltimore next season. It’s hard to see the Ravens rolling the dice in an attempt to save $6 million when they would still have to re-sign him to a long-term contract anyways. The franchise tag will buy them some additional time to work on a contract extension and they can always structure the deal so that there’s some money to use to retain other players.
We have Flacco is currently listed as the No. 1 in our Top 50 Free Agents List