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The reworked contracts of Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and potentially other top-paid quarterbacks might make it easier for the Baltimore Ravens to use the exclusive franchise tag on Joe Flacco.
Flacco already loses $800,000 if he receives the exclusive tag because of Brady's new contract, and he could lose up to $3 million if the contracts of the other highest-paid quarterbacks -- Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Roethlisberger and Drew Brees -- also are restructured before the end of the exclusive period, which is right before the April 25-27 draft.
The Detroit Lions, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints all have salary-cap issues and might opt to rework their quarterbacks' contracts.
The contracts of the five highest-paid players at that position determine the salary of a player who is given an exclusive franchise tender. A player who receives the exclusive tag cannot negotiate with other teams, but draws a higher salary than a player who is tendered with the non-exclusive franchise tender.