JOE FLACCO: Let me see a show of hands for those who are tired of hearing about the contract negotiations every day. Breaking News !!! There is no deal !!! Breaking News !!! The Browns will give up two first-rounders and pay a ton of money if the Ravens do not give him the Exclusive Tag !!!
 Please. March 4 is the first date to wake up to the negotiations; and that is just to hit the snooze alarm. The Ravens have to designate Joe with one of the two Franchise Tags, just to be able to negotiate for 8 more days before it is an issue. It does give them some idea of how much money that they can play with in deals with others, but until the Salary Cap deadline on March 12, it is not a crisis. Wake me up at 4:00 pm on March 12 when the Cap implications apply.
 So overall, how do you see Joe? Is he the best QB the Ravens have had ever? Of course. Does his book of work from the Giants' game forward define who he is as a QB? I am not so sure. It took a bizarre play in the Denver game, as well as a Bonehead throw by the Greatest QB to Ever Walk on Water, to get past them. The early part of the year was a question mark (remember the offensive display in the KC game or the Steelers Away game?). There were throws even in the playoffs that could have been picks. And the Play-calling in the Giants' game and the playoffs was a new wrinkle that teams did not have a book on. They will have an off-season to adjust and throw new things at Joe.
 What I can say is that I saw a QB who began to throw passes to receivers and put it in their hands to either dominate the reception or play defender. He had that in Mason and Heap before, but now he can rely on Boldin, Pitta, Smith and Jones to make the play on the back-end; so his confidence went up. I remember a play in the GB game a few years ago where Joe floated a fade to the opposite corner of the endzone. It was a bad pass, without an arc and too soft. The receiver though just watched it get picked; instead of reading the error and blowing up the defender. There was bad execution on both ends, but the receiver had the last opportunity to keep the ball in the Ravens' hands. Right now, I would say that Dickson is probably the only one I can think of that would let that happen. Joe has now taken a step to make the plays that need to be made in the NFL. What we do not know is how he responds when the DC's in the League start taking away that confidence.
 When the 49ers were driving at the end of the Super Bowl and I was sure they would score, I looked at the clock and thought that if we got the ball with 1:46 left and three time-outs Joe could put together a drive to win the game. I did not think it was a lock, but it was possible. To me, he has not reached that level that I can feel like the opposition has left too much time on the clock for him. He may get there some day. But right now I still have the Monday Night game against Jacksonville where he got the ball with time on the clock and his throw was a pick.
 He is a good QB and the best we have seen in Purple and Black. And the FO will get a deal done. What players are left on the roster after that happens, and who they get to replace those that leave, remains a mystery. For now, I am focused on March 12.

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