"I don't think we ever lost faith this is where we were going to be," Flacco said. "This is where we envisioned ourselves."
Management for the Ravens, from owner Steve Biscotti to general manager Ozzie Newsome, calmly insisted in the weeklong buildup to Sunday's game that the contract wouldn't be an issue. If the two sides continue at an impasse in negotiations, Flacco would be retained using the franchise tag. The exact figures for franchise players at every position aren't known until March just before free agency, but the exclusive franchise marker for quarterbacks is projected at $20 million.
"I'm pretty optimistic," Flacco said. "But who knows, there's all types of crazy things that could happen with these things. This is a great organization, great city and I look forward to being here."
Biscotti said he will "trust in Ozzie" that a deal will get done but also pointed out that Peyton Manning was twice given the franchise tag at a similar, salary-cap eating value from the Colts when negotiations didn't lead to a long-term deal.
"Me and Steve have had some good talks over the past few months," Flacco said.
Flacco, who typically avoids the spotlight and the celebrity of being an NFL quarterback, and his wife have a young son. They found out two weeks ago that they are expecting a second child. He said he's still the same guy he was before hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, and looks forward to getting back to normalcy.
He does understand that won't happen any time soon, a realization that hit him in the early morning hours when he finally hit the pillow in an exhausted state but couldn't close his eyes.
"I went to spend some time with the family," Flacco said. "I went to the postgame party. I got to meet Jay-Z and Beyonce ... that was pretty cool, I don't think that would've happened if we had lost the game."