Flacco begins season, salary drive with flourish

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BALTIMORE (AP) -- Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco enhanced his bargaining power for a lucrative new contract with a dazzling performance in the season opener.

Flacco's contract expires after this season. After he ripped Cincinnati for 299 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-13 win Monday night, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh lent his take on the negotiations.

Harbaugh said, "Pay him whatever he asks for. Pay the man."

Flacco signed a five-year, $12 million deal as a rookie.

In each of his first four years, he has guided the Ravens to a playoff berth. Given the precision he displayed against the Bengals and the manner in which Baltimore rolled to victory, there's no reason to believe Flacco and the Ravens won't reach the postseason again.

Baltimore plays at Philadelphia on Sunday.