Ravens trying to lock up Flacco

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens are trying to lock up a contract for rookie quarterback Joe Flacco prior to training camp and are scheduled to meet with the first-round draft pick's agent over the next few days at team headquarters. Flacco's agent has expressed optimism about concluding a proposed five-year contract when he holds his fifth meeting with Ravens chief negotiator Pat Moriarty.

"I have confidence that the deal can get done," Linta said recently. "We've been making progress, but there's still more work to do."

Drafted 18th overall out of Delaware, Flacco has said he's not concerned about the pace of discussions.

The 6-foot-6, 235-pound New Jersey native is slated to compete with Troy Smith and Kyle Boller for the starting job, and avoiding a holdout situation would be a positive step for his prospects in the quarterback derby.

Flacco's agent doesn't have a history of staging holdouts.

It's unclear how much Flacco will be paid under NFL slotting principles, but Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall, last year's No. 18 pick, signed a five-year, $13.6 million that included $8.2 million in guaranteed money. Since this is a quarterback deal, it's likely to include escalator clauses that could boost the potential total value of the contract. Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn, who was picked 22nd overall last year, held a lengthy holdout last summer before signing a five-year, $20.2 million deal.

Rookies, quarterbacks and injured veterans are scheduled to report to Westminster on Monday with the first practice set for Tuesday morning at McDaniel College.

"It's going well," Flacco said during a June minicamp when asked about the contract talks. "Joe calls me each time he comes down from Connecticut and lets me know how it's going. I'm sure they'll get it done on time."

Meanwhile, the Ravens are not expected to pursue Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who has asked for his release after reconsidering his decision to retire.

The Ravens have been speculated as a potential destination for Favre in several published reports, but it doesn't look like they're going to get involved. Packers general manager Ted Thompson told Wisconsin reporters that he hasn't fielded any inquiries for Favre at this point.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.


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