NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Joe Flacco’s camp believes he’s playing better than Peyton Manning, which justifies a higher asking price than the $19 million currently being paid to Manning.
“I’m told his camp believes he is playing better than Peyton Manning,” said Rapoport, via Rotoworld. “Manning makes ($19.2M) a year; expect them to shoot higher than that.”
This coincides with previous reports that have mentioned that Flacco is looking for a deal that would average $20 million annually.
Flacco has tons of leverage in the current situation, but the Ravens can at least them some time with their franchise tag. I know Flacco would like to make that kind of money, but he should at least consider the consequences of demanding such a contract. $20 million will represent over 16 percent of the team’s salary cap, which will put a huge strain on their ability to rebuild their defense and keep quality talent around him.
“He’s now made a case for $20 million a year,” said John Clayton while appearing on SportsCenter Monday. “And I think he’s gonna try to hold to that. Last season what I was hearing was he was asking for about $17 million. … But he was saying ‘okay fine, let me play this out.’ Now he’s in a position to make big money. And we’ll see if he can get over Drew Brees’ contract. I think he can.”
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen agreed that this could be the figure that Flacco and his agent are targeting in the coming months.
Even if Flacco comes out and plays his worst game of the season, he may have already done enough to force the Ravens hand in the situation. It seems almost certain that Flacco will be franchised in the next few weeks, but the Ravens will have to continue working on a long-term extension in the next few months to prevent Flacco from entering another contract year. Using a franchise tag on a quarterback will run NFL teams $14.642 million this season.
Baltimore actually has some money to work with this offseason, but taking care of Flacco leaves very little room to address other free agents list Ed Reed, Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe and Cary Williams.
We have Flacco currently listed as No. 3 best available player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.