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Flacco’s agent targets top-five money

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on after a play against the New England Patriots during their AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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Though many Ravens fans have expressed relief over the fact that the team and quarterback Joe Flacco will begin negotiations on a contract to replace the one that expires after the 2012 season, talking about Flacco’s value could lead to some sharp differences of opinion.

Flacco’s agent, Joe Linta, recently set a high bar.

“If the game is about wins and losses, he has to be in the top five [quarterbacks],” Linta told Matt Vensel of the Baltimore Sun. “He is a player who has been extremely durable, never missed a game. And he’s done something that no one has ever done. In his four years in the league, he has never missed a game and has more wins than any other quarterback.”

Talks will commence at next week’s Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Linta says it will be a “brief chat over coffee,” and not a “Hatfield and McCoy thing.”

Still, folks shouldn’t get their hopes up.

“We’re not going to have a press conference next Saturday to announce his extension,” Linta said. “In order to do Joe Flacco’s contract extension, we have to start somewhere. And that’s sitting down and chatting, and that’s what we’re doing.”

We’ve got a feeling that it will be many Saturdays before an extension is announced, especially if Flacco wants to be paid among the top five quarterbacks in the game. We like him and we believe he’s underrated and overcriticized, but to put him with guys like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger seems to be a little premature and/or presumptuous.