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Joe Linta: Ravens were dumb not to sign Flacco last year

Joe Flacco

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco speaks at a news conference at the team’s practice facility in Owings Mills, Md., Monday, March 4, 2013. Flacco agreed to a contract that will make him the richest quarterback in NFL history after leading the Ravens to a Super Bowl XLVII victory over the San Francisco 49ers. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)


There’s been some talk this offseason that the Ravens were forced to part ways with players like Dannell Ellerbe, Ed Reed and Anquan Boldin because the contract extension given to quarterback Joe Flacco ate up too much cap space.

That may be true, but Flacco’s agent says that the blame should go to the Ravens rather than Flacco. Joe Linta told Jim Corbett of USA Today that contract extension talks with the Ravens broke down in 2012 over a difference of $1 million in non-guaranteed base salary in the final year of what would have been a six-year deal. Linta said that wound up costing the Ravens $35 million over the life of the deal and he wasn’t shy about sharing his thoughts about the Ravens’ decision-making.

“I’ve never in my life seen a dumber move. I guess people can say, ‘Well, Joe was dumb, too.’ It could have been (dumb), God forbid, if he got hurt. But $1 million to Steve Bisciotti six years from now? That’s like 100 bucks for you or me today,” Linta said.

Linta also isn’t sympathetic about the fact that the Ravens will almost certainly have to restructure the deal in three years to avoid a cap number of $28.55 million for Flacco in the 2016 season.

“I’m not apologetic for the fact this is really a three-year deal, there’s no way they can afford $29 million a couple of years from now,’' Linta said. “I’m not apologetic. They chose to walk away.”

Now that the dust has settled on a busy offseason for the Ravens, the moves they made haven’t left the team looking too much worse than they would have if everyone returned from the championship team. Things likely would have played out differently if Flacco had signed last year, but it will be some time before we can know whether their “dumb” move hurt the team in the long run.