Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been the subject of scrutiny since he inked a massive six-year, $120 million contract shortly after the Ravens won the Super Bowl in February. Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, recently labeled the decision by Baltimore's front office to wait until after the season to try to resign the signal caller a "dumb move," which he expressed to USA Today Sports. Linta told the media outlet that he had "no sympathy" over the deal despite Baltimore jettisoning several players this offseason just to get the team in position to afford the contract. The Ravens have never been in a position where they had to pay for the services of a franchise quarterback. Will it hurt them going forward? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate the question.
Riley: Absolutely. Paying Flacco that kind of money is surely going to prohibit them from doing the things they want to do as far as retaining their own free agents or acquiring the services of new ones. You can look at what the team has done already and tell how Flacco's deal is going to curve their thinking and planning going forward.
Green: The moves Baltimore have made this offseason were simply moves that needed to be made anyway. Anquan Boldin and Ed Reed were beyond their primes and needed to be moved or released. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe is a quality linebacker but his penchant for partying was getting old. And if you look at the fact that they brought in Chris Canty and Elvis Dumerville then how can anybody say Flacco's deal is a hindrance?
Riley: The Raven’s cap number coming off the 2012 season was already pretty low, allowing them to make moves on Canty and Dumerville but when the bulk of Flacco's contract starts kicking in as the years go on, you're going to see a direct change in how Baltimore does business. Similar to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had to let a lot of valuable young veterans go in order to pay for other players like star QB Ben Roethlisberger. Flacco's deal is going to be a problem, you may not see it now, but it's coming.
Green: The Ravens pride themselves on always having a plan in place and I trust they'll have a plan going forward for how they adjust to Flacco's deal. Baltimore has always been a strong drafting team so expect more focus to be paid to that aspect of team building. Look, we're talking about a team that just won the Super Bowl. They're not stupid and they know how to make numbers work.
Riley: For a team that's not stupid, like agent Joe Linta said, that was a dumb move by not signing Flacco prior to last season. Baltimore is going to have to keep drafting well and replacing players who are scheduled for big payouts. With Ray Rice and Flacco the most recent recipients of big money deals, the Ravens are going to have go the extra mile to stay competitive with money dried up.
Green: As long as Flacco and Rice are signed, the team will be competitive. Those two are arguably the best at their positions right now; and with Terrell Suggs and Dumerville under contracts, the team has the makings of future Super Bowl runs. The offense is set and the pass rush should be among the best in the league for years to come.