Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco signed a six-year $120.6 million contract earlier this offseason. Yesterday, in an article that appeared in the USA Today Flacco’s agent Joe Linta stated that the Ravens were dumb to walk away. The fact of the matter is that Linta is right.
The Ravens walked away from a contract extension with Flacco prior to the 2012 regular season over $1 million in non-guaranteed base salary, which Linta says proves costly.
“$1 million six years from now, in the base salary non-guaranteed money, and they walked away,” Linta said. “It cost them $35 million. So I have no sympathy. None. 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.”
Good teams understand that you get contracts done prior to the last year of a player’s contract. The reason is they understand that good players are going to be costly to resign right at the last minute. That is something every Buffalo Sabres fan learned the hard way.
The Sabres made the National Hockey League Eastern Conference Finals two straight years in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. Instead of making sure that their two captains in Daniel Briere and Chris Drury were locked up prior to the last year of their contract; they waited until after the season.
That proved costly as Briere and Drury’s contract demands sckyrocketed and the Sabres couldn’t meet them. Both then subsequently signed with other teams when NHL Unrestricted Free Agency opened on July 1st, 2007. The funny thing is they still didn’t learn their lesson.
It wasn’t until middle of the following season that Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier publicly acknowledged that contracts need to get done prior to the end of the season. However, it was too late in regards to their All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell who like Briere and Drury had his contract demands steadily rise through the season, which got so high the Sabres traded him at the NHL Trade Deadline for the 2007-2008 season.
The amazing thing to me is that the team across town in the Buffalo Bills didn’t learn that lesson. Everybody knew prior to the 2012 regular season the team needed to get two players resigned right away in guard Andy Levitre and free safety Jarius Byrd. The team failed to do so and Levitre walked when the National Football League Free Agency opened up earlier this year.
As for Byrd, he was hit with the franchise tag. So, he and the Bills are negotiating, but according to reports the team and Byrd are $2 million apart. That has Bills fans heads shaking.
Byrd as been to the NFL’s Pro Bowl two times already in his young career as he went to it in 2009 and 2010. Also, in 2009 and 2012 led the AFC in interceptions.
On top of that Byrd single handedly delivered two wins for the Bills with late game interceptions last year.
So, you can be mad at Flacco and Linta all you want about the size of his contract. The only thing that matters is fact that Linta is right.