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NFL notebook: Ravens give Flacco NFL-record signing bonus

| Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 6:27 p.m.
The Ravens and Joe Flacco have agreed on a contract extension that will keep the quarterback with the team through the 2021 season.

Joe Flacco pocketed several million dollars and the Ravens saved valuable salary cap space after the quarterback signed a three-year extension Wednesday.

Flacco received an NFL-record $40 million signing bonus to extend the six-year, $120.6 million contract he received in 2013 after earning Super Bowl MVP honors. The pact includes $44 million in guaranteed money — the signing bonus plus a $4 million base salary in 2016.

If a new deal hadn't been made, Flacco's salary cap hit to the club this season would have been $28.55 million. But Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome insisted the team's motivation was to keep the 31-year-old quarterback through the 2021 season.

“We did not do a deal to gain cap room. We did a deal so Joe Flacco could be on this football team for the next six years,” Newsome said.

Newsome did, however, add: “The cap will take care of itself. But, is it going to be helpful? Yes.”

Flacco said both sides got together for the good of the Ravens.

“It's all about winning football games. Once this thing is signed and over with, that's all that we're worried about,” Flacco said. “This gives us the best chance to move forward. Over the next six years, it's a huge window to go win another Super Bowl, another two, another three, whatever it may be. At the end of the day, that's our goal.”

Flacco never missed a game with the Ravens until last season, when torn ligaments in his left knee in Week 11 ended his consecutive-games streak of 122. Prior to the injury, Flacco had five 300-yard passing games — tied for his career high.

Flacco has racked up 85 wins, including playoffs, since starting in Week 1 of his rookie season of 2008. In 122 games, Flacco has completed 2,479 of 4,070 passes for 28,322 yards and 162 touchdowns.

He's won 10 games in the postseason, including seven on the road — most by a quarterback in NFL history.

“On his shoulders stands the success of this organization over the last eight years,” Newsome said.

Source: Browns' Mack voids contract, becomes free agent

A person familiar with the decision says Browns Pro Bowl center Alex Mack is voiding the final three years of his contract and will become a free agent.

Mack was set to make $24 million over the next three years, but chose to opt out of the deal.

Mack may still re-sign with the Browns, who value him as one of their best players and a building block for the future.

A former first-round draft pick, Mack is one of the NFL's top interior linemen. Mack was able to secure a five-year, $42 million contract, which included $18 million guaranteed, from the Browns in 2014 after the club used the transition tag on him. Jacksonville signed Mack to an offer sheet, which the Browns matched.

Falcons release WR White

The Falcons released Roddy White, who holds the franchise career records for most catches, receiving yards and touchdown catches.

White's role in the offense declined in 2015 under first-year coach Dan Quinn and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. The Falcons announced the release of the 34-year-old White in a statement which included glowing compliments from team owner Arthur Blank, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and Quinn.

Blank says White is “one of the greatest players to ever put on a Falcons uniform” and will “forever be part of the Falcons family.”

White was only fourth on the team with 43 catches last season, his low total since 2006, his second season.

Pats cut WR LaFell, TE Chandler

The Patriots released wide receiver Brandon LaFell and tight end Scott Chandler, according to multiple reports.

After a strong 2014 season, LaFell finished last year with 37 catches for 515 yards and no touchdowns. Chandler caught 23 passes for 259 yards last season.

LaFell had a cap hit of $3.675 million for 2016, and Chandler's cap hit was $3.05 million.

Around the league

The Packers officially announced the re-signing of reliable kicker and franchise career scoring leader Mason Crosby to a four-year contract worth a reported $16.1 million, with a $5 million signing bonus. … The Titans agreed to terms on a multi-year contract with free agent cornerback and former Steeler Brice McCain, who made 11 starts and played 14 games for the Dolphins last season.

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