Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco is not unlike a lot of players in the NFL. He is finishing out his rookie contract and way overdue for an extension and pay rise after not missing a single game in his four-year career and leading his team deep into the playoffs all four seasons. However, what sets him apart from many of the other players is that despite the stalemate in negotiations on a new deal, Flacco continues to honor his current deal by reporting for the team's voluntary off season workout as noted in a story on NFL.com.
The first one of the year started yesterday and Flacco was there with many of his his teammates. Ray Rice was not in camp, but his situation is different although both players are seeking new deals, hopefully before the 2012 regular season gets underway. Rice's rookie contract was only four years while Flacco's was for five, meaning that while Rice has been given the team's Franchise Tag to prevent him from testing the free agent market, Flacco still has one more year left on his contract.
Technically, while Joe is a current employee of the team, Rice does not officially become one again until he signs his tag, which is not abnormal at this point of the year. If Rice does not get a new deal prior to the official start of this summer's Training Camp and then continues to hold out, that would raise the level of concern tenfold. However, regardless of what happens on Flacco's extension, it's comforting to know he is a man of his word and will respect not only the contract that he signed four years ago, but the need to be here with his teammates focusing on the single most-important mutual goal of his and his teammates.