Last week Ian Rapoport said on Total Access on the NFL Network that Joe Flacco is looking for north of the contract amount paid to Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos. Fortunately for the Ravens, Rapoport said that the team and Flacco plan to meet after the Super Bowl to begin the crucial offseason talks, so the actual distraction element is probably overblown.
Still, Flacco is essentially looking for $20 million per year, given that Manning's number is $19.2 million per. Rapoport said that Flacco's camp "believes he is playing better than (Manning).'
This season, Flacco has completed 59.7 percent of his passes, with 3,817 yards and 22 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Last season, Flacco was looking for a contract extension, but the Ravens elected to let him play out the 2012 season to see if he can post better numbers.
In 2011, the numbers weren't that far off, though. He threw for 3,610 yards with 20 touchdowns against 12 interceptions, with a 57.6 completion percentage. The contract numbers he was looking for a year ago obviously haven't been reported, but it's safe to assume they were less than the numbers he's throwing out now on the back of a Super Bowl appearance.
So the Ravens are in a tough position, given that Flacco's numbers aren't that much better than they were a year ago. Still, his contract is up at the conclusion of the Super Bowl, and the team needs to focus on getting him under contract.
Of course, the Ravens wouldn't let him go elsewhere in free agency, and would surely use the franchise tag on him in a worst-case scenario, but a long-term deal is likely the priority going forward.