Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome knows how important quarterback play is in the NFL, and knows how vital Joe Flacco's play has been for Baltimore. With that in mind, the GM and coach John Harbaugh said working out a restructured deal with Flacco was paramount for the team.
"On his shoulders stand the success of this organization over the last eight years," Newsome said of Flacco. "His best football is still ahead of him."
Flacco, 31, has spent his entire eight-year career with the Ravens and taken the organization to the playoffs in six of those seasons. Obviously his best play came in 2012 when the Ravens won the Super Bowl, but Flacco has a significant track record of playoff success.
"When it comes down to it in this league it's all about winning football games," Flacco said of his reworked contract. "This gives us the best chance to move forward."
Newsome, Harbaugh and Flacco all spoke at Wednesday's press conference and made clear that the Ravens organizational goal is to win at the highest levels.
"There's a commitment in this building to winning football games," Flacco said. "I just want to win another Super Bowl."
After their Super Bowl triumph in 2012, Flacco signed a mega-deal with Baltimore that some at the time thought would hinder the Ravens ability to sign other free agents. That impact can be argued either way, but coming off a major knee injury in 2016 and with the team stumbling badly last season, this seemed like the right time for the Ravens and Flacco to rework the contract.
"We did not do a deal to get cap room, we did a deal so Joe would be on this football team for the next six years," Newsome said.
The GM, however, added that the contract maneuvering will create more room for free agents. "Is it going to be helpful? Yes."
Flacco acknowledged the need for the best possible team around him as well.
"I want to win football games," the quarterback said, repeating his main point like a presidenital candidate's stump speech. "You want to have a solid offensive line, a solid defensive line."