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The length of the deal is six years and makes Flacco the highest-paid player in NFL history, according to CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that it's in excess of $120 million.
As Profootballtalk.com's Mike Florio notes, however; it’s unclear how much the deal will exceed $120 million. To surpass Drew Brees‘ $20 million annual average, it won’t need to exceed $120 million by much.
Still, Florio added, the structure is unclear. How big is the signing bonus? How much is fully guaranteed? How much is guaranteed for injury only? What is the three-year payout?
The answers to those questions will come in time. For now, as BaltimoreRavens.com's Ryan Fink notes, finalizing a deal with Flacco before Monday's 4 p.m. franchise deadline would mean the Ravens wouldn't have to endure a salaray cap hit of about $19.5 million under an exclusive tag or don't have to risk losing their quarterback with a non-exclusive tag.
It would also mean the Ravens know their budget so they can get to work re-signing their own free agents and know how much spending flexibility they have when the market opens on March 12.
So. ... Did the Ravens overpay?
Time will tell. ... But Flacco is the only quarterback in league history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons. He leads the league in combined regular season and playoff wins (63) by a starting quarterback since 2008.
His play during the Ravens' 2012 playoff run, capped off by an MVP performance in Super Bowl XLVII, solidified Flacco's status among the league's top quarterbacks.
Flacco's 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the playoffs equaled San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana's feat of 1989. Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers' strong defense in Super Bowl XLVII.
The Ravens' last quarterback to win a Super Bowl was Trent Dilfer in 2000. Baltimore parted ways with him that offseason, bringing in free-agent Elvis Grbac.
Although Flacco's contract negotiations took longer than expected, as the two sides were close to a deal before the start of the 2012 season, there was no way Flacco was going to leave Baltimore.
Baltimore drafted Flacco 18th overall out of Delaware in 2008. Since that season, they haven't had to question who was starting under center.
Now they reportedly won't have to worry about that for quite some time.