By now, you’ve heard that the Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco have agreed on a 6 year, $120 million extension that’ll make him the highest paid player in NFL history. The numbers are astounding, but not surprising. Flacco was set to become a free agent in few days, and was coming off what is probably the best postseason by a QB in NFL history.
Everyone will say that the Ravens “overpaid” for Flacco. Perhaps they did, but how do you define “overpaid” in this situation. What were the Ravens supposed to do, let him walk in free agency? Of course not. The Ravens were stuck in a position where they had to pay Flacco whatever he wanted. In the end, it’s all about leverage in any negotiation. In this case, Flacco had all of it.
The Ravens could have avoided this problem by giving Flacco an extension a year ago, or 2 years ago. Or by drafting another QB in the past couple years with some talent. It’s not like this situation snuck up on them. It’s been looming for a couple years now.
The Seahawks need to be paying attention. Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman will be needing to be paid in next few years. They need to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes the Ravens did.
For starters, they need to get these extensions done early. The closer these players get to free agency, the tougher it gets to sign them in way that’s team and cap friendly.
Next, the Seahawks need to not ignore the position in the draft. This is especially true at FS and CB. Going into a negotiation and being able to honestly say that “The backup plan is already on the roster” is essentially like saying “We can win without you.” Like it or not, that’s leverage that can be used to keep salaries down.
Ultimately, the Ravens handled this situation as poorly as possible. The Seahawks need to learn from Baltimores mistakes, and make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen in Seattle.