INDIANAPOLIS -- The agent for quarterback Joe Flacco and Ravens vice president of football administration Pat Moriarty met Friday for the first time since contract talks reached an impasse in August, team and NFL sources confirmed Saturday.
By all accounts, the Friday night meeting in downtown Indianapolis went well and talks will continue. If a deal is eventually struck, the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player is expected to become one of the highest-paid players in the game.
The Ravens attempted to make Flacco one of the five highest-paid quarterbacks during the summer, but talks hit a snag over the contract's guaranteed money, total value and structure. Agent Joe Linta has said that he now wants Flacco's annual average to exceed that of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees ($20 million) and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning ($18 million).
Flacco completed 73 of 126 passes (57.9percent) for 1,140 yards and a 114.0 quarterback rating in the playoffs, throwing 11touchdown passes and no interceptions.
"Every time you talk, it's based on present circumstances," Linta said earlier this month. "What we tried to do in August was reflective of the present circumstances. Now we'll look at this situation differently."
Both sides hope to work out a long-term contract before March 4, the last day to apply the franchise tag before Flacco becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Pro Football Talk first reported Friday morning that the two sides would meet Friday night or Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Ravens also have continued to talk with their other unrestricted free agents as they head toward the signing period, which begins March 12 at 4 p.m.
That included a Friday breakfast meeting with the agent for starting inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.
"They're obviously focusing on the short term, on the Flacco issue first," said Hadley Engelhard, who represents Ellerbe, on Friday. "The next focal point is Dannell. Hopefully, it will work out. We plan on meeting many, many times between now and free agency."
Furstenburg's fast start
Maryland tight end Matt Furstenburg ran an impressive 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine Saturday, clocking 4.62 seconds for the second-fastest time among tight ends.
Furstenburg is graded as a later-round draft prospect, or a priority free agent should he go undrafted. The New Jersey native caught 16 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns last year and was the lone Terps player invited to the combine.
"Just trying to get people to know my name coming out of this and raise my stock a little bit more," Furstenburg said. "I think I'm very versatile. You know, I can spread the field downfield. I think I'm pretty physical at the point of attack."
The 6-foot-3, 242-pound player said he tries to emulate Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta and Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels.
Pitta's game as a receiving tight end, in particular, is something Furstenburg hopes to mirror.
"He's just so smooth," Furstenburg said.
Ravens meet with UNC LB
North Carolina linebacker Kevin Reddick met with Ravens linebackers coach Ted Monachino at the combine for what he said was a productive talk.
With Ray Lewis retiring, Ellerbe an unrestricted free agent and Jameel McClain still not cleared to play after suffering a spinal cord contusion in December, the Ravens could use some new blood at inside linebacker.
"It was a good meeting," Reddick said. "As soon as we sat down, we talked football. I definitely feel like that would be a fit. To replace a great linebacker, that would be a great fit."
Reddick is a four-year starter who was named first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference as a senior, when he recorded 85 tackles (18.5 for losses) and 6.5 sacks.
He's graded as a third- to fourth-round selection.
"I love football," Reddick said. "I love being nasty. I love being a student of the game. I'm smart and physical and nasty. I might not have all the speed, but my instincts kind of make up for it."
The Ravens met with Utah defensive lineman Joe Kruger, the younger brother of outside linebacker Paul Kruger. ... The team also met with Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson, who ran the 40-yard dash in an impressive 4.75 seconds. .. The Ravens have a meeting scheduled with Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson and plan to meet with Florida State defensive end Brandon Jenkins. Seminoles pass rusher Tank Carradine, who's coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament, said he also was meeting with the Ravens, among other teams.
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