Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco completed his Super Bowl season by agreeing to the richest contract in National Football League history.
The Baltimore Sun reported that the deal is worth $120.6 million and includes a $29 million signing bonus and $52 million in guaranteed money. The per-year average exceeds New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees’s $20 million a year, ESPN reported.
The deal allows Flacco to avoid being labeled the Ravens’ franchise player, which would have forced him to sign a one-year contract worth $14.9 million and place all the risk of injury on the 28-year-old passer.
“It was never about the money, it was about earning the respect,” Flacco said during a news conference announcing the deal. “It means a lot.”
Soon after news broke that Flacco had consummated a deal, his teammates began posting comments on the social networking site, Twitter.
“Dinner and a few nights on Joe Flacco when we get back well deserved,” running back Ray Rice posted.
“Man now that’s a pay day!!” offensive lineman Michael Oher commented on the site. “Nobody’s more proud of Joe than his teammates because we all knew he was worth it!!! $$$$$$$ lol.”
Though Flacco’s contract is a six-year agreement, the deal probably will be re-written in the fourth year or Flacco will be released. That’s because he will account for $29 million against the team’s salary limit then, far too much of the total cap, according to NFL.com.
Flacco’s salary will eat up just $6.8 million of Baltimore’s $123 million cap in the coming season, which gives the Super Bowl champions room to sign other players.
Asked what he is going to do with the money, Flacco said: “Nothing immediately. I’m gonna look at it and smile a little bit.”