USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday, Browns fans reacted to the news of Joe Flacco signing a record-breaking deal at $120.6 million to remain with the Baltimore Ravens. On Saturday, Jason La Canfora tweeted out some early details regarding Flacco's soon-to-be-signed contract:
Joe Flacco will average $20.1M/yr in record deal, slightly more than Brees. Will make $62M over 1st 3 yrs, $1M more. 2013 cap #? Just $7M...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 2, 2013
Sometimes, contracts are heavily back-loaded, which makes it easier for a team to release a player near the end of their contract without having actually paid the full amount of the reported deal. If Flacco had become a free agent, or if the Ravens had attempted to use the non-exclusive franchise tag on him, Peter King suggested a few weeks ago that a team like the Browns could front-load a deal with something like $30 million in year one for Flacco. The Browns wouldn't have made such a stupid move, but at least it can officially be ruled out now.
As La Canfora states, though, Flacco's deal with Baltimore is fairly front-loaded. The big thing is the fact that Flacco will only make $7 million against the cap in 2013, which is significantly less than if they would have used the exclusive-rights franchise tag on him (~$19 million). The Ravens could still face cap issues in future years, but the lower amount in 2013 could make it possible for Baltimore to re-sign some of their pending free agents, like linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Paul Kruger, and safety Ed Reed. More details on Flacco's guaranteed salary should be made available in the coming days.
Also, here's a relevant tweet from pending Browns free agent tight end Benjamin Watson:
"Special Delivery for a Mr. Flacco..." twitter.com/BenjaminSWatso…— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) March 3, 2013