In the calm before the NFL Draft storm, Ravens fans are getting a little anxious about the lack of “big re-signing news” over their franchise QB, Joe Flacco…
Fear not, Ravens fans… the negotiations to keep Flacco in Baltimore for a very long time are coming along nicely and in due course…
You see, by now even Joe Flacco “haters” are beginning to realize this guy is better than 90% of the other stuff out there at QB…
That’s why there’s a statuette of Joe Flacco (see above) in the latest catalog of NFL accessories and souveniers… but no statuettes available for Kevin Kolb or Alex Smith or Rex Grossman.
Apparently the two sides haven’t met regarding Flacco’s contract since the NFL Scouting Combine in late February. Instead, reports Florio, there have only been “a few” discussions.
But that could all soon change. The lack of progress may be nothing more than Ravens brass methodically taking one long-term deal at a time.
Top cornerback Lardarius Webb agreed to a six-year deal last week and team representatives told reporters Wednesday that they are happy with the progress being made with running back Ray Rice.
“With cornerback Lardarius Webb’s deal on the front-burner, and Rice on the franchise tag, there hasn’t been a big push to get a deal for Flacco,” wrote Breer.
The NFL insider confirmed that contract proposals have been traded and the two sides now plan to get “back to the negotiating table” this week. How quickly a deal can be struck with Flacco, or even Rice, may hinge on upcoming deadlines.
“The NFL – like many businesses – is a deadline operation, so deals sometimes don’t get done until just before a real or perceived deadline,” wrote ESPN’s Tim Kavanagh. “In Flacco’s case, his current deal runs through the 2012 season – and he hasn’t threatened to hold out of training camp if he doesn’t get a new pact before then – so there’s no real deadline until next March.
“However, his tactics may change if we get closer to camp this summer and there remains a lack of progress.”
Another motivation to finish the deals could come from Owner Steve Bisciotti, who told BaltimoreRavens.com in March that there is a sense of urgency for salary cap reasons to get both offensive stars signed as soon as possible. (Source= Sarah Ellison, BaltimoreRavens.com)…
Meanwhile, there is major talk going around that Baltimore may be interested in signing free-agent guard Eric Steinbach, according ESPNChicago.com, who also reported the Bears and Seahawks have made inquiries about the 32-year-old offensive lineman..
Steinbach is the former starting left guard for division rival Cleveland Browns and started 124 games for the club over eight years. He missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing a procedure that removed a disc fragment from his spinal nerve last summer.
He was cut by the Browns in March “after refusing to take a pay reduction,” explained ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.
“The Ravens hinted they won’t make any more free-agent moves until after the draft,” the AFC North blogger Hensley wrote. “So if the Ravens don’t use a first- or second-round pick on a guard, they should make a call to Steinbach. The alternative is starting a backup offensive tackle (Jah Reid) at left guard.”
And you thought we were in the slow part of the NFL season…