Notebook: Ravens' Brendon Ayanbadejo apologizes for comments about Patriots

After criticizing the New England Patriots on social media one day earlier, Ravens reserve linebacker and special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo quickly backpedaled Monday morning by issuing an apology.

As the Patriots were putting the finishing touches on their victory Sunday night over the Houston Texans in the AFC divisional round, Ayanbadejo took aim at the defending AFC champions.

"New England does some suspect stuff on offense," Ayanbadejo wrote on his Twitter account. "Can't really respect it. Comparable to a cheap shot b4 a fight. Are you watching the game pats vs texans? If so you see the hurry snap offense catch em b4 they set up. It's a gimmick.

"Their offense is good enough to be successful without that. … In a sport that is predicated on mano y mano, lets hurry up n snap it = [expletive]."

Ayanbadejo didn't stop with his critique of the Patriots' offense, also referencing the infamous Spygate episode as well as the team cutting wide receiver Tiquan Underwood the day before the Super Bowl last year.

After providing so much bulletin-board material for the Patriots, Ayanbadejo was contrite enough that it led many to wonder if the team had asked him to back off his remarks.

"I made selfish comments on twitter last night that reflected poorly upon myself, my teammates, and the organization," Ayanbadejo wrote. "For that I apologize."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh declined to say much when asked if he had spoken to Ayanbadejo about his comments, which triggered a lot of negative reaction in Baltimore and New England on Twitter, message boards and sports talk radio.

"That's all stuff that just really isn't relevant," he said. "That's all stuff that's not, I don't think, worthy of the conversation right now, at this time."

Following the stir created by Ayanbadejo, his teammates downplayed the effects of his remarks.

"They are irrelevant," said Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith when asked generally about the impact of trash talking. "It doesn't really matter. People say things.

"You can say whatever, whether we are trash talking or they are trash talking. You have to play football for 60 minutes, so words don't mean a thing."

Payday awaits Flacco

With his rookie contract set to expire after this season, quarterback Joe Flacco could be getting more expensive after two impressive playoff performances.

Negotiations between the fifth-year quarterback and the Ravens were put on hold until the offseason after hitting an impasse in August.

The towering 2008 first-round draft pick from Delaware has completed 30 of 57 passes for 613 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 120.0 passer rating in victories over the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts.

"I've been the one putting him on a pedestal saying, 'Joe's a top-five, elite quarterback, and he's proving it,' " agent Joe Linta said. "He's in the rarified air of having already won seven playoff games in his short career. He's really demonstrating that he's one of the top guys out there."

The New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees received the most recent blockbuster deal for a quarterback when he signed a five-year, $100 million contract that included a $37 million signing bonus and $60.5 million in total guaranteed money last July.

The value of a potential deal for Flacco remains unclear, but it would greatly help the Ravens' salary-cap situation to avoid having to use the franchise tag on him next season.

Linta said Flacco isn't concerned about his unresolved contract status, maintaining a laser focus on his business on the field, which resumes Sunday night at Gillette Stadium.