Joe Flacco-Ravens talks shelved

Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens were close to finalizing a long-term contract extension the first week of August before talks were tabled, according to league sources.

But they were not just tabled; they essentially were shelved. There have been no contract discussions in the six weeks since the two sides nearly finalized their deal, according to sources.

Part of Flacco's greatest leverage is his seeming indifference about procuring a long-term deal.

The player whose agent
has said he believed his client was one of the five best quarterbacks in the league appears far more focused on playing to the level he did during Baltimore's season-opening win over Cincinnati.

As for Baltimore, it can use the franchise tender on its quarterback after this season for about $15 million and then do it again after the 2013 season for another $18 or so million, keeping him locked in as a Raven.

But if the two sides were to resume contract discussions now, they would have to start over, according to sources.