All year we've discussed Joe Flacco's contract situation. The Ravens have to retain him, but Flacco wants crazy (read: Drew Brees) money over a long-term deal. The buzz around his contract culminated with a Super Bowl XLVII victory that gives Flacco and agent Joe Linta just about all the leverage they could ever want.
But despite that leverage, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said Thursday that he wants a "fair deal."
"We're looking to get a fair deal with Joe," Newsome said at Baltimore's year-end presser.
What's "fair" though? Linta emphatically believes Flacco should be the highest-paid quarterback in all of football. That's -- all due respect to Linta -- insane. (Although if I were Linta, I'd be saying the same thing, for whatever that's worth.)
And Flacco made it clear he plans to maximize his leverage with the Ravens, saying after the Super Bowl that owner Steve Bisciotti told him bringing a Lombardi Trophy to Baltimore meant Flacco could "beat on his desk."
"We just won a Super Bowl, so it's the last thing that I'm concerned about," Flacco said about his contract Sunday night. "But [Bisciotti] did let me know that if the day came I could go beat on his desk and really put it to him, so that's exactly what I'm going to do."
Now, there is a chance that the Ravens and Flacco could make something work by limiting the amount of guaranteed money Flacco gets in exchange for giving him a high-dollar annual value, as CBS Sports Jason La Canfora reported recently.
Or maybe Flacco's just going to get whatever he wants. Bisciotti said Thursday that the Ravens offered the quarterback a "top-five" contract last offseason. Flacco obviously declined the deal, gambled on having a huge 2012 and did just that; even if his regular season wasn't at the All-Pro level, he produced an all-time postseason run, eventually netting the Lombardi.
"That's what we wanted to see," Bisciotti said. "We wanted to see him do this and he did."
So now we wait. The Ravens will franchise Flacco if they can't get a deal done before March 4, the final day to apply the tag this year. (Teams can begin tagging players on Feb. 18, 2013.)
But Newsome remains confident a deal will get done.
"I'm coming away today thinking we can get a deal done," the GM said Thursday.
The only questions are when the deal gets done and whether or not Newsome and Linta can come to an agreement on what the word "fair" means.