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Ravens' GM 'optimistic' on signing Flacco

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Feb 07 2013 02:57:42 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 07 2013 11:41:21 PM CST
Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco

Sean Gardner/Reuters

Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome told reporters that he's "optimistic" of retaining Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco.

Flacco doesn't have a contract for next season. Newsome added that the sides were close before the season, but mutually agreed to halt talks until the end of the season.

"I'm coming away today thinking that we can get a deal done," Newsome told reporters at the "State of the Ravens" season-ending news conference. "We've got deals done with Haloti [Ngata], JO [Jonathan Ogden], Ray [Lewis], Ray Rice, Ed Reed, [Terrell] Suggs. I've got a very good owner who understands the business and understands the importance of certain positions. So, I'm optimistic."

Without an agreement, the Ravens will slap Flacco with the franchise tag, preventing him from becoming a free agent, but taking up $20 million in cap space.

"We're looking to get a fair deal done with Joe," Newsome said. "If we're able to get a deal done, it will allow us to be able to participate more in the market if we so choose. But we understand what the priority is."

Flacco, 28, is younger than Peyton Manning (who's earning $18 million per year) and Drew Brees ($20 million).

"When you do a contract of this magnitude, you look at what is the player's body of work presently," Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, told CNBC. "And what are the expectations going forward over the next four, five or six years. Joe wins on both accounts."

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