Sports Illustrated writer Peter King reported on Feb. 11 that it sounds like the Baltimore Ravens might consider letting Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco walk now that they let his contract expire. The decision all comes down to the Ravens' decision regarding Flacco's franchise status on March 4.
King talked about a comment that owner Steve Bisciotti made about shocking the world and disappointing their fans by letting people go, but replacing them on the free agent market. General Manager Ozzie Newsome then made the comment that they would not overspend just because they won the Super Bowl.
That seems to be pointed statements towards Joe Flacco.
The Ravens chose not to extend his contract heading into the season and now they see themselves in a tough spot. If they make him an exclusive-rights free agent, they keep him no matter what and pay him over $20 million next season. If they make him a regular franchise player, any team in the NFL can make him a contract offer and Baltimore either has to match the offer or let him go in exchange for that team's next two first round draft picks.
Teams like Cleveland, Buffalo and Arizona might be willing to lose those draft picks to get a quarterback like Joe Flacco, and the Browns would love to stick it to their hated divisional rivals in Baltimore. The Ravens would get the Browns' sixth pick in the draft this year, their first round pick next year, and Cleveland would finally have a franchise quarterback.
Baltimore could then trade for someone like Alex Smith and not really lose too much, while gaining a nice draft pick to replace Ray Lewis.
Of course, Baltimore and Flacco could work out a new contract before March 4 arrives and avoid all this. But how much is the Super Bowl MVP worth now?