NFL: Flacco agent, Ravens ready to discuss contract

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The Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco’s agent plan to meet this weekend in their first attempt to reach a new contract for the Super Bowl MVP.


Joe Linta will be in Indianapolis at the NFL’s scouting combine for the first negotiations since August. After the team and Flacco couldn’t agree on an extension or a new deal last summer, Flacco played out the final year of his rookie contract – and struck it big.


He led the Ravens to the AFC North title, then to playoff victories over Indianapolis, Denver and New England before beating San Francisco in the Super Bowl. Flacco had 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions in the postseason.


Flacco made less than $7 million in 2012, and even if the Ravens franchise him, he would at least double that salary for next season.


The going rate for a non-exclusive franchise quarterback is $14.6 million for one season. Other teams could make an offer to Flacco under that tag, with the Ravens having the right to match it – or let him go and receive two first-round draft picks in return.


Tampa Bay Bowers arrested: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers say they’re gathering information after defensive end Da’Quan Bowers was arrested after a handgun was found in his luggage at a New York airport.


Bowers was arraigned Monday on charges of criminal possession of a weapon and posted $10,000 bond. Team officials said Tuesday they won’t comment until they have all the facts.


According to authorities, Bowers was arrested at LaGuardia Airport as he was about to board a U.S. Airways flight to Raleigh, N.C. The .40-caliber weapon was found during a search of his carry-on bag.


Efforts to reach his attorney were unsuccessful.


Jets set to continue purge: As the New York Jets began their salary-cap purge Tuesday, they still faced their two most difficult offseason decisions: What to do with Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.


The Jets cleared about $31 million in salary cap space by cutting veteran linebackers Bart Scott and Calvin Pace and three other players. Safety Eric Smith, backup offensive lineman Jason Smith, and tight end Josh Baker also were released Tuesday. The moves were expected because New York entered the offseason more than $20 million over the cap for the 2013 season.


They were the first significant personnel decisions made by new general manager John Idzik, who was hired to replace the fired Mike Tannenbaum last month.


Idzik will be plenty busy this offseason. The Jets are hamstrung by the contract of starting quarterback Sanchez, who is coming off a miserable season but is guaranteed $8.25 million next season. He would cost the Jets a $17.1 million cap hit if they cut him.


Packers increase ticket prices: The Green Bay Packers are increasing ticket prices.


Price increases range from $2 to $5 depending on the location in Lambeau Field. End-zone seats increase $2 to $74. Tickets from the 20-yard line to the end zone increase $5 to $85. Seats between the 20-yard lines will go up $5 to $97.


Prices for the new South End seats are $82 and $89.


Riveron promotoed to officiating post: The NFL has promoted Alberto Riveron, the league’s first Hispanic referee, to senior director of officiating.


Riveron was born in Cuba and moved to Miami with his family at age 5. He became a referee in 2008. He served four seasons as a side judge before that.


Riveron takes the newly created position as second in command of the department under new vice president of officiating Dean Blandino.


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