The last two months have gone pretty well for Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco. He led the Ravens during an amazing playoff run that culminated in a Super Bowl XLVII clinching victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Flacco was named Super Bowl XLVII Most Valuable Player, which solidifies his belief that he deserves to be paid like an upper echelon quarterback.
The time has come for Flacco to realize his destiny. According to Fox Sports, and confirmed by espn.com, Flacco has signed a six year, $120.6 million dollar contract. It’s the richest contract in NFL history for any player, regardless of position. $120 million dollar contracts are usually paid to transcendent players. Flacco’s new contract would indicate that he’s a transcendent player.
What’s interesting is that Flacco’s name rarely comes up when discussing the best quarterbacks in the NFL. It can be argued that he’s not even the best quarterback in the NFC North. Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to three Super Bowl appearances during his nine year career, winning two Super Bowl titles. Based on that premise, Flacco’s record in big games can’t compare to Roethlisberger’s.
In addition, Flacco is considerably less decorated than quarterbacks like the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady, the Denver Broncos’ Peyton Manning, or Peyton’s brother, New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning. And now he’s getting this kind of money?
The truth is, Flacco may be worthy of his newly signed contract. He’s led Baltimore to the playoffs in each of his first five years in the NFL. He defeated the Broncos and Patriots on the road during the AFC playoffs to reach the Super Bowl. Flacco was considered an afterthought before Super Bowl XLVII, considering that most of the pre Super Bowl press went to 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Nevertheless, Flacco led the underdog Ravens to their second Super Bowl title in franchise history.
Now the pressure is on Flacco to improve on his 2012 championship season. Unless he throws for 60 touchdowns and less than 10 interceptions while leading the Ravens to a perfect 19-0 season, Flacco will never get the respect he truly deserves. Nevertheless, he can revel in the fact that he owns the richest contract in NFL history.