The paramount moment of the offseason is here. When the Ravens set the new status quo for paying quarterbacks in the NFL by handing Joe Flacco a six-year/$120 million contract three years ago, they knew that this discussion was going to happen sooner or later.
While approximately half of Flacco's $120.6 million has been paid out, the cap numbers skyrocket next season. From a mere $6.8 million in 2013, to $14.8 million in 2014 and $14.55 million in 2015, Flacco's cap number essentially doubles to $28.55 million for 2016 and moves to $31.5 million in 2017. It's pretty clear that this massive cap hit hinders the Ravens' ability to make moves both now and in the future. Restructuring is essential.
Pro Football Talk reports that Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, is meeting with the team in Indianapolis this weekend. The results of this meeting are going to have a great effect on how the Ravens move on with their offseason moves.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, they're damned if they do and damned if they don't. While Flacco has been paid $62 million so far, only about $36 million has counted against the cap. That means that the Ravens have to somehow pull off moving around about $85 million in cap space between now and 2018. A simple restructuring will just move the cap around, meaning the Ravens are going to be hit hard, whether it be sooner or later. The next option would be to sign an extension that is backloaded in itself. Either way, the Ravens are going to have to pony up for what at the time was the largest contract given to a quarterback in league history.