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News » Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-07-18


Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-07-18


Baltimore Ravens Inside Slant 2008-07-18
--Joe Flacco agreed on a five-year deal with the Ravens, which will allow him to report to training camp on time and help his chances of becoming the starting quarterback immediately.


He will receive $30 million including $8.75 million in guaranteed money.

Flacco, the 18th overall pick in this year's draft, becomes the fourth pick in this year's first-round to agree to a deal.

He will report to training camp Monday, when he will compete with Kyle Boller and Troy Smith for the starting quarterback job. By avoiding a holdout, Flacco will be on equal footing with those veterans when camp begins.

"I want to get out on the field and prove that I can," Flacco said after being drafted. "It's going to be up to the coaches to make that final decision, but it's going to be up to me to prove to them that I am ready."

Flacco's deal was significantly more than Cleveland's Brady Quinn, who was the only quarterback drafted in the second half of last year's draft. Quinn, the 22nd overall pick, received a five-year, $20.2 million contract that included $7.75 million in guaranteed money.

With a big frame (6-6, 235) and a stronger throwing arm, Flacco became the highest-drafted quarterback in the Ravens' 13-year existence. Kyle Boller, the only other quarterback selected by the Ravens in the first round, was taken with the 19th pick in 2003.

The trend in the NFL has been to sit rookie quarterbacks, especially early in the season.

Since Brian Billick started Boller in the 2003 opener, no other rookie quarterback drafted in the first round has started a game in the first two weeks of the season. In fact, of the 11 quarterbacks drafted in the first round from 2004 to 2007, five did not start any games in their first season.

But one of the reasons the Ravens drafted Flacco 18th overall was his ability to absorb information and take instruction.

He not only picked up a shortened version of the Ravens' playbook before the draft, but he has impressed the coaches during offseason workouts, too.

"This guy is bright. Football makes sense to him," said offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who said he will be the primary voice instructing Flacco this season. "Sometimes when you get a guy like that, he can be special."

An excellent long-range passer from the University of Delaware, Flacco can make all the throws and has the confidence to deliver them.

He transferred from the University of Pittsburgh after two seasons because he didn't feel he was given the chance to compete. In two seasons at Delaware, he completed 63.4 percent of his passes for 7,046 yards (second most in school history), throwing 41 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions.

"I had to go down to the minor leagues of college football to prove who I was," Flacco said a day after being drafted by the Ravens. "I'm going to carry that with me for the rest of my life and use it for the best."

CAMP CALENDAR: Rookies, quarterbacks and injured veterans will report on July 21, while the remaining veterans will report on July 23. Camp concludes on Aug. 15.


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Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: July 18, 2008

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Steve Edwards Name: Steve Edwards
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