Flacco's Branford-Based Agent Joins Post-Super Bowl Whirlwind

He chose the later.

You would expect that of a blue-collar kind of guy, a dad, a family man.

Two years ago, Linta decided to coach his sons, Nick and T.J., at Hamden Hall. Nick, a wide receiver and long snapper, is expected to go to Fordham or Salve Regina. Linta said that T.J., a 6-4, 230-pound quarterback who'll be a senior next year, is being looked at by Iowa, Rutgers, UConn, among others.

"I don't know who's going to be better than him in the state next year," Linta said. "We were the No. 1 passing team in New England in yards per game last year. It's funny. They had run a Wing-T at Branford, and the coach at the time didn't want me around to help. I was a little frustrated, to say the least."

Feeling that his son needed another place to develop as a quarterback, they started exploring prep schools. T.J. liked Hamden Hall's offense. The bad news was that coach Ron Carbone was leaving. Linta joked that he might come out of retirement. August, September, October is the down time for an agent, and, soon enough, a joke turned serious.

"Hamden Hall made me feel like a prom queen," Linta said. "I knew it would be a ton of work, but what better thing could you have than spending three years with your kids everyday? It's by far the best thing I've ever done. At the Super Bowl, I'm just the piano player. When you're coaching, getting Gatorade dumped on you, it's a thousand times more satisfying."

Of course, when your client is a free agent who just became the Super Bowl MVP, being an agent is a thousand times more lucrative. Linta, in fact, would make big news Tuesday with one small word: Yes.

"CNBC asked me to do an interview about Joe's marketing," Linta said. "We were talking about his gummy bear endorsement and things. At the end I was asked if Joe Flacco should be the highest-paid quarterback in the league and I said yes. That caught on like wildfire."

Linta's reasoning was this: With a contract of this magnitude, you look at a player's body of present work and the expectations over the next five years. He figured that Flacco, 28, won on both counts.

"I got a couple of emails saying, why do you negotiate through the press?" Linta said. "I'm not making any outgoing phone calls. Everybody is calling me. Part of this business is to make sure fans have information. I don't need to grandstand. It's news. The fans, especially in Baltimore, want to know what's going on with their best players. We're not deploying troops to Afghanistan here. It's the entertainment business. If it's controversial when some clown like me says my player is the best at his position, well, everybody is entitled to their opinion."

And then Joe Linta gave his:

"Remember Bjorn Borg with his 35 heartbeats per minute? That's what Joe is like. He has this incredible calmness about him. He has the ability to withstand stress and pressure. And he just proved it."

On the biggest stage.

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