It seems like it wasn’t long ago that the Ravens were trading up in draft status to draft a strong armed quarterback out of Division 1-AA Delaware. I don’t think anyone knew what to make of it at the time, given the new regime (John Harbaugh) that was in place. A half decade later has equaled 5 playoff appearances, 2 AFC Championship appearances, and a Super Bowl win.
The timing could not have been more perfect for Flacco. He turned down a contract offer this past offseason and now has all of the leverage a 5 year quarterback could even dream of having.
Joe (Flacco) put up Joe (Montana’s) numbers with the 11 postseason touchdowns and zero interceptions. His 3 Super Bowl touchdowns got him a coveted Super Bowl MVP. All that begins the possible $100 million question, exactly what or how much is Flacco worth?
Lets throw this into a decent perspective, for the sake of future quarterbacks everywhere. We might want to start by defining the word “elite”. I think it honestly needs to cease being used, seeing as though it makes it easy to overrate quarterbacks.
Now, that the “e” word is out of the way, lets take a good look at what Flacco has accomplished in his short 5 year period. First and foremost, there is that aforementioned Super Bowl victory. Not only did he play great and win the MVP, he did all of that against one of the best if not the best defense in pro football. Aaron Rogers couldn’t beat them nor could the 1st draft pick in Flacco’s draft, Matt Ryan.
In just his 5 years, Flacco has the same amount of playoff wins as the great Peyton Manning. Not mention throwing a 70 yard late bomb to help beat Manning’s Broncos late in that playoff thriller.
While it can be argued that Flacco inherited a team with a great defense with the playoff wins and appearances from his first 4 years, but that was not the case this year. They played great at times, but were a shell of what they once were. Without the play of Flacco, that team is not in the postseason and is definitely not raising the Lombardi.
Outside of outplaying Brady for 2 consecutive years in the AFC Championship, Flacco does not have a 4,000 yard season. He also looked very mediocre in the Houston and Broncos game this year. Those types of Flacco games will no doubt stick out in the minds of many during offseason negotiations.
So what is the real worth of Flacco? Despite what everyone thinks and what we have seen in the past, Flacco has to be paid as a top QB. I refuse to use that aforementioned “e” word but right now there are only 6 quarterbacks outside of Flacco that have won Super Bowls. Only 2 of those have more playoff wins than Flacco (Brady, Roethlisberger) and 3 on that list were not in this season’s playoffs (Brees, Manning (Eli), and Roethlisberger).
The worth of Flacco is very simple. He has now proved himself to the world as a great quarterback. Flacco simply deserves every penny the market commands. While the signing will be difficult for the Ravens to pull off and keep their offense intact the way it is, that is not really Flacco’s problem from a financial standpoint. There is always the option of Flacco taking a pay cut to keep the Anquan Boldins of the world in a Ravens uniform. If he does that, then we can call him “elite”. Yes, I used the “e” word.