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For those wondering about the Ravens’ level of commitment to their starting quarterback, Owner Steve Bisciotti gave a resounding answer Monday.
Bisciotti said he envisions giving quarterback Joe Flacco a contract extension before the 2012 season and doesn’t want Flacco to enter the final year of his deal not knowing that his future is in Baltimore.
“I hate to speak for [Ravens General Manager] Ozzie [Newsome], but I would imagine that like John Harbaugh, we would be starting negotiations with [Flacco] so that entering 2012 he won’t be playing in his final year,” Bisciotti told The Baltimore Sun at the annual owners meetings. “I would anticipate an extension that starts in 2012.”
Flacco has steadily grown since starting as a rookie out of Delaware in 2008.
In just his third season, he became the Ravens’ all-time leader in passing yards (10,206) and touchdown passes (60). He and Harbaugh, who received a contract extension earlier this offseason, are the first quarterback/head coach combination to reach the playoffs their first three years in NFL history.
Flacco set season-bests in passing yardage, touchdowns, interceptions and quarterback rating this year. His 93.6 rating ranked seventh in the NFL and longtime ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton calls Flacco “elite.”
Bisciotti said he doesn’t envision a scenario in which Flacco would become a free agent, but did leave the possibility of being franchised open.
“[The Indianapolis Colts] franchised Peyton Manning,” Bisciotti said. “That’s something that we have under the CBA [collective bargaining agreement]. It happened with Haloti Ngata. It happened with Terrell Suggs and Chris McAlister. It’s not out of the question. If Peyton Manning is the sacred cow, there’s precedent there.
“But I would hope we would get something done again. And that gives us a whole year. Our goal is to get it done for 2012 for sure.”