There was a time when the Baltimore Ravens did not seem certain that Joe Flacco would be the quarterback of their future. Of course, they never said this publicly, but the signs were there. Then, suddenly, Flacco led them to the Super Bowl. Now, the Ravens may consider placing the Franchise Tag on the young quarterback. If they do, Flacco will see a nice payday.
According to Mike Florio of NBC's ProFootball Talk, the Ravens will almost certainly franchise Flacco rather than let him hit the open market. Doing so will guarantee Flacco at least $14.6 million. However, the Ravens will likely have to use a modification of the Franchise Tag to ensure Flacco stays with the team, says Florio. And that could equal a $20 million payday.
If a team in need of a quarterback gives up two first round picks, they can sign Flacco right out from under the non-exclusive Franchise Tag. However, if the Ravens modify it to add exclusivity, they will have to pay Flacco more. It still seems like a no-brainer that the Ravens do this.
Teams who lost quarterbacks to injury (Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, etc) would be tempted to pry Flacco away under a normal tag. Teams who simply need an upgrade at quarterback (Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, etc) would be hard pressed to give up two picks, but they might consider it.
This means, Flacco is going to join the ranks of the highest-paid players in the league. As part of the exclusive Franchise Tag, the Ravens would have to pay Flacco the average of the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the league. Thus, the $20+ million figure. He will most certainly be worth it if he steers the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory today.
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