Back at the end of the 2012 season, quarterback Joe Flacco had just helped the Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl in his contract year. He was rewarded with a new six-year, $120.6 million deal and was on the way to becoming one of the next elite quarterbacks in the NFL.
Since then, he has been a bit lackluster, only taking the Ravens back to the playoffs the once in 2014, where they lost in the divisional round to the eventual Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots. Then again, he doesn't exactly have all the offensive weapons a quarterback could ask for in order to achieve postseason glory again.
While the Ravens' shortcomings might not be all down to Flacco, the AFC North team still needs to find a way to turn the team around, and his $28.55m cap hit could help. This lead to the Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome being asked at the end of the season if they will restructure the quarterback's contract.
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He said that they would try and build a strong team without doing so, but Flacco himself has said he wants to do whatever he can to help out the franchise.
He said, according to WBAL News Radio: “I want to win so I want to do everything we can to get something done. I don’t know exactly what that is or exactly what’s that going to be because we haven’t talked about it yet. I know that’s a huge number and it’s not really realistic. … I’m open to doing something. I want to be here for a while. I want to play football here. That’s what it’s all about.”
Flacco is due to earn just over $31m in 2017 and then just under $25m in 2018, so it is likely the Ravens will have to add a few more years onto his contract so they don't deplete their cap space in the future.
This is the kind of quarterback many franchises have been dying to have, a good quality player that would rather take a cap hit in order to help the team rebuild and win Super Bowls. While people might look at Flacco's cap hit and realise he's not living up to it, if he doesn't consistently have good enough offensive weapons to help him, the team isn't going to get very far anyway.
Flacco has shown he is willing to do all he can to help the Ravens improve, the rest is down to them.