I will start today on a topic concerning a team at the top, the Baltimore Ravens. Coming off of a Super Bowl win, the Ravens now have to make some big personnel decisions. The first decision that will impact the rest of those decisions is what to do with Joe Flacco. The best thing that could happen is a long term deal that is in the best interest of both Flacco and the team. A contract with the money he wants, but with a structure that allows for the team to stay somewhat intact next season. Unfortunately, that looks less and less likely to happen and the franchise tag comes into play. There are two different franchise tags, the exclusive and the non-exclusive. The exclusive guarantees Flacco will be on the team next year, but will cost $20 million dollars and will result in several cuts of veteran players. The non-exclusive costs less, but allows Flacco to negotiate with other teams.
Personally, I am it a fan of dismantling a team in order to make one player happy, regardless of the player. Would I love to have Flacco back? Yes, of course, but I don’t want him back if it means we tear the team apart. If Flacco and the team can’t come to terms on a mutually beneficial long term deal, I hope the team uses the non-exclusive franchise tag and allows Flacco to negotiate with other teams. If another team is willing to break the bank to pay Flacco, I would take their first round picks, offer one of them to the 49ers for Alex Smith and his 8 million dollar salary and move on. If Flacco wants to be a highly payed player on a crappy team, API would prefer he do it away from Baltimore.