The Ravens will start talks on a long-term contract extension with Joe Flacco's agent at the NFL combine next week, according to NFL Network.
This doesn't come as a surprise because Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti anticipated a year ago that negotiations would begin this offseason. But this could be the start of a long process in determining Flacco's value as a starting quarterback. Flacco, 27, is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
His contract should be at the top of the second-tier quarterbacks. That market was set by the Cardinals' Kevin Kolb (six years, $65 million with $$21.5 million guaranteed) and the Bills' Ryan Fitzpatrick (six years, $59 million with $24 million guaranteed).
But Flacco shouldn't come close to the top-tier ones. That's reserved for the likes of the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger (eight years, $102 million) and the Giants' Eli Manning (seven years, $106.9 million).
That's a big gap between those two levels of quarterbacks, so it will be interesting to see at what number the sides agree to meet. By my estimation, Flacco will get between $30 million and $35 million guaranteed.