Joe Flacco says new contract was about respect, not money

March 4, 2013

Joe Flacco says he wanted respect rather than a big payday. (Patrick Semansky / AP)

Getting the richest contract ever awarded an NFL player wasn’t Joe Flacco’s goal. He swears he was always more interested in respect.

As he addressed the media in jeans and a zip-up sweater, it wasn’t hard to believe him.

“It was never about earning the money and all that. It was about earning the respect,” the Baltimore Ravens quarterback said Monday at a press conference after signing his $120.6-million deal (with $52 million guaranteed). “Definitely about earning that respect and feeling that respect around here. The fact that we got it done and that they made me [the highest-paid player] definitely makes me feel good about how we played and how they feel about me.”

Flacco learned about his big new deal during a family pizza night at his uncle’s house and said he has no big plans for the money.”Just gonna look at it, I guess,” Flacco said.

Flacco rolled the dice on his own talent last summer, opting to break off talks on a new contract. His stock soared when the Ravens won the Super Bowl and Flacco was the MVP. And now?

“I’m not going to do anything crazy,” Flacco, whose wife is expecting their second child, said. “All the celebration I can take is going out and enjoying a nice little time with the people that are close to me and looking at each other saying, ‘Man, can you believe where we are?’”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren | March 4, 2013