It is basically a foregone conclusion that after the Super Bowl, win or lose, the Baltimore Ravens will give quarterback Joe Flacco a contract extension. The value of said extension is what is still up for debate and that is where the discussion of what Flacco is worth begins. Just where does Flacco rank among today’s NFL signal callers and what kind of contract should we expect to see him end up with?
Of the top 10 average salaries in the league, six of them belong to quarterbacks. Here is the list.
1. Drew Brees, QB $20,000,000
2. Peyton Manning, QB $19,200,000
3. Calvin Johnson, WR $18,812,500
4. Larry Fitzgerald, WR $16,062,500
5. Mario Williams, DE $16,000,000
Michael Vick, QB $16,000,000
7. Tom Brady, QB $15,700,000
8. Eli Manning, QB $15,271,429
9. Philip Rivers, QB $14,035,714
10. Julius Peppers, DE $14,000,000
It could easily be argued that Flacco is better than all but four of those guys under center with the exceptions being both Mannings, Brady, and Brees. Vick is in line to see a serious pay-cut next season and Rivers has been underwhelming to put it mildly during the past two years.
With an 8-4 career postseason record up to this point and being the only quarterback to begin his career with five consecutive trips to the playoffs, Flacco’s résumé speaks for itself. His regular season statistics haven’t been overly impressive, but neither have Eli Manning’s at any point in his nine year career. Flacco actually boasts a higher career completion percentage than all but Brees, the elder Manning, and Brady on that list. At 60.5%, Flacco’s number is nearly two full percentage points higher than Eli’s 58.6%.
This discussion ultimately boils down to how you look at Flacco. If you value wins and losses, how can he not be worth top dollar? If you want gaudy statistics, maybe you’ve forgotten what the game is all about.
Joe Montana never statistically blew anyone away, yet he is considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all-time.
Because he won when it mattered most. Sound familiar?
Flacco is just entering his prime at 28 years of age and it would be hard to say that there is any quarterback in the league you would want more over the course of the next 10 years. If the Ravens don’t pay up with a lucrative extension, there is bound to be some unrest. The franchise tag would only create more uncertainty around his status and why the team still doesn’t believe in him.
It’s about time Flacco started getting the respect he deserves, both in the media and in the form of a paycheck.