With a deal for running back Ray Rice now finished, the Baltimore Ravens are optimistic they can reach a contract extension with quarterback Joe Flacco by the time training camp opens next week, sources tell ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.
A first-round pick in 2008, Flacco has one year left on his rookie deal, but the 6-foot-6, 245-pounder has said throughout the offseason that he is not concerned about his contract.
Flacco's agent emphasized that point Tuesday after Rice signed a five-year, $40 million deal Monday.
"Joe is very, very excited for the season," Joe Linta told the Carroll County Times in a telephone interview. "He's really adamant about getting the Ravens to the next step. The contract at this point is secondary to that goal. Joe has the attitude that he'll earn it."
Linta told the Times the two parties continue to talk.
"We've had great conversations, and we're going to keep talking," Linta told the paper. "Everything is good. We're going to keep talking, keep the lines of communication open."
Flacco's numbers dipped slightly in 2011, with his completion percentage, passing yards and touchdowns all taking a hit as he threw two more interceptions than he did in 2010. However, the Ravens were 12-4, won the AFC North and were a Lee Evans dropped pass away from representing the AFC in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants.
Flacco is due $6.76 million in base salary this season.
Ravens veterans are set to report for training camp July 25.