Joe Linta, the agent for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, made headlines over the weekend with his comments to Jim Corbett of the USA Today about the talks between himself and the Ravens on an extension of Flacco's contract.
According to Linta, $1 million in non-guaranteed base salary in the final year of the contract prompted the Ravens to walk away from extension talks last August.
"$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.''
Flacco led the Ravens to a win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII and was signed to a six-year, $120.6 million contract that included $51 million in guaranteed money on March 4. There's little doubt that the Ravens' playoff success, Flacco's performance in the postseason, increased Linta's leverage in talks with the Ravens, helping to squeeze an additional $4 million per year from the Ravens.
Financially, Flacco's camp won that gamble, but it was a little surprising that Linta would choose to publicly spike the football. In addition to Flacco, Linta represents several other Ravens players, including undrafted rookie quarterback Dayne Crist and 2013 draftees Kyle Juszczyk and Brandon Williams.
Linta attempted to do a little damage control Tuesday on Baltimore's 105.7 The Fan.
"I’d been hearing that for about three months now," Linta said. "And after a while you get sick of it because Joe is a consummate pro, he’s a phenomenal player, a great father, a great husband, and a great son. And to be honest with you in sort of a parental mode I’d kind of gotten sick of the intimations that he was greedy and that type of thing. And I said, 'Look, I have no sympathy for the Ravens. They chose this. They walked away from the deal in August.'
"Look, they’re brilliant guys. They won a Super Bowl. But I thought it was dumb. Look, if that’s the worst thing that they get called in their existence, then they got a pretty good situation. They know how I feel. Everything I was quoted [on], I told them that in August. This is not news to them. It’s how I feel. I’m allowed to have my opinion."
Linta is certainly correct when he says that he is entitled to his opinion. He's also right that the Ravens — owner Steve Bisciotti, GM Ozzie Newsome and vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty (who handles contract talks) — are brilliant guys who won a Super Bowl. Those executives also haven't gotten to where they are without possessing thick skin, but as is often the case with front office types, they tend to have pretty long memories, too.