Joe Flacco Prepares to Cash In

Say hello to "Jackpot'' Joe Flacco.

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback, who tabled a long-term contract offer before the season, gambled on himself and won big.

Now Flacco is literally in the driver's seat, not only of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray bequeathed upon the Super Bowl XLVII MVP Monday morning, but in talks for a for more lucrative pact from his team.

With his 287-yard, three-touchdown showing in the 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Flacco entered the NFL's ultra-exclusive club. A sterling silver, football-shaped Super Bowl MVP trophy is among the many bargaining chips he can bring with him to place on the negotiating table opposite Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti.

Flacco joked about pounding on Bisciotti's desk for a new deal after putting the finishing touches on a brilliant postseason performance that matched 49ers icon Joe Montana's 11-touchdown, no-interception playoff run in 1989. Flacco wasn't picked off in 126 postseason passes.

"Me and Steve have had some good talks through the last few months,'' Flacco said. "I'm pretty optimistic. But who knows? This is a great organization. I love being here. It's a great city. I don't anticipate any problems.''

It doesn't sound like Bisciotti does, either.

"Bottom line is we have our quarterback for the next 10 years, and we're going to ride Joe," the owner told a small group of reporters, including USA TODAY Sports' Jarrett Bell, last week.

"I think the hold-up is money. I was made aware that (Flacco) and his agent were real close (to a deal) with (GM) Ozzie (Newsome) and think that Ozzie has always come through and gotten the job done. We've never lost a great, great franchise player from the beginning. I'm just very comfortable that it will get done. The fact that we're offering more per year than the franchise tag, to me, it can't be too far away if where we stopped (talks) last year, the annual average was higher than the franchise tag."

The one-year tag for quarterbacks in 2012 was $14.6 million. However the exclusive franchise tag, which wouldn't allow Flacco to even talk to other interested teams, could run in the $20 million range in 2013.

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Jim Corbett
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