Three days before the deadline to use the franchise tag, the Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco have agreed to terms on a new contract that will reportedly make the 2008 first-round pick out of Delaware the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history.
Jay Glazer of FOXSports.com initially reported the agreement, which will be signed on Monday, March 4, but was awaiting word on the terms.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Flacco's deal is worth in excess of $120 million over six seasons, will make him the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history. Flacco earned $6.76 million in base salary in 2012, the final season of a rookie contract that paid out $23,805,590 over the last five seasons.
Keeping Flacco, who turned 28 in January, was the Ravens' top priority this offseason. Had the two sides not reached agreement on a new contract, Flacco would have received the franchise tag. The "non-exclusive" tag for a quarterback in 2013 is worth $14.896 million, though Flacco could have received the more prohibitive "exclusive" tag, which would have prevented him from negotiating with other teams. The value "exclusive" tags will not be known until the end of the restricted free agent signing period in mid-April, but for a quarterback, the value would likely exceed $19 million in fully guaranteed base salary in 2013.
Flacco has started all 93 regular and postseason games the Ravens have played since 2008, passing for 17,633 yards with 102 touchdowns and 56 interceptions. The Ravens have won 56 games and made the postseason in all five seasons with Flacco at quarterback. While Flacco lacks a Pro Bowl on his NFL resume, he established himself as a top quarterback in the league during the 2012 playoffs, passing for 1,140 yards with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions while leading the Ravens to wins over the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLVII.
Flacco completed 22-of-33 pass attempts for 287 yards and three touchdowns and was named Most Valuable Player of the Ravens' 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
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