Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/11/12

If the Ravens front office was looking for leverage in contract negotiations with Joe Flacco, they found none this week. Baltimore is expected to give Flacco more freedom this season and let him run the no-huddle offense, and he turned that freedom into 21-for-29 passing, 299 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 44-13 win over Cincinnati Monday night. He also got the ultimate endorsement from his head coach after the game.

“Pay him whatever he wants,” John Harbaugh said while bursting into laughter, according to the Baltimore Sun. “Pay the man.

“We’ve always stood up here, and we’ve always, all our coaches, the organization, we know what we’ve got in this guy. Of course he is (elite). He is a winner. He is one of the toughest quarterbacks I have ever been around. He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever been around.”

Flacco and his agent certainly appreciate the kind words. We already knew he had confidence based on statements like this one that he is made in the past. Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome has openly stated that he wants to see Flacco back up his comments and perform like an elite quarterback, and if Monday was any indication he just might do that this season. With Matt Schaub having just received a four-year, $62 million extension from the Texans, Flacco is in a great position. If he continues to play like he did against the Bengals, the Baltimore front office should be happy to open its check book.

Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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