Feb 092013

Now that the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl the NFL is now going through the grueling task of getting their teams ready for the 2014 season. Some players will cash in and some will see their careers ended. A lot of current talk has come to the future of Baltimore’s top signal caller Joe Flacco who has come out and said that he is expecting money comparable to the 5 year $100 million dollar contract that New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees inked in July, making Flacco potentially the highest paid QB in the NFL. Most people would consider this a no brainer, he’s the franchise quarterback give him what he wants. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a post about the need to get rid of Joe Flacco because lets be honest that is just not good sense.

First Argument: This isn’t baseball.

While I think that most fans know that the NFL has a cap they forget that “taking care of the quarterback” also means not taking care of other positions. As of right now the Ravens have between 15 and 20 million dollars in salary cap space depending on which source you reference. So if the Ravens give Flacco the same contract as Drew Brees, his cap figure would be 10.4 million dollars for the 2013 season [source]. Which leaves them with a grand total of 4.6 to 9.6 million dollars to resign four starters in Maake Kemoeatu, Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, and Ed Reed. All this while having to spend approx 5 million dollars singing the upcoming rookie class. This also will create a real issue when trying to resign LT Oher, WR Anquan Boldin, WR Jacoby Jones, and FB Vontae Leach in the 2014 free agency period.

Second Argument: Teams that win the Super Bowl don’t put all their cap space on a quarterback.

Year Super Bowl Winning QB Cap Number Cap Rank
2000-01 Trent Dilfer $1000300 36
2001-02 Tom Brady* $314993 78
2002-03 Brad Johnson $6803150 6
2003-04 Tom Brady $3323450 21
2004-05 Tom Brady $5062950 13
2005-06 Ben Roethlisberger $4225090 17
2006-07 Peyton Manning $10571068 5
2007-08 Eli Manning $10046666 3
2008-09 Ben Roethlisberger $7971920 13
2009-10 Drew Brees $10660400 13
2010-11 Aaron Rodgers $8250000 13

The table above is a list of the quarterbacks who won the Super Bowl since the last time the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl (2000-2001 season) until the 2010-2011 season. (Data shown here). As you can see from the data only two teams (likely three if we include the past two seasons being Eli Manning) have a quarterback who is in the top 5 as far as cap number. Only three in the time frame (likely four when we include the second giant’s super bowl) were in the top ten in QB salary cap. More than half of the quarterbacks in this year’s playoffs were still in their rookie contracts. Which is generally (save the last few years prior to the rookie wage scale) are generally cheaper than the veteran contracts.

Third argument: He’s just not that good.
NFL organizations just can’t pay guys based on the euphoria of winning a Lombardi Trophy and winning isn’t a statistic for quarterback play. Things that are considered quarterback statistics are yards, attempts, yards per game, passer rating, and completions all of these Joe Flacco has not rated higher than 11th among quarterbacks in any of these statistical categories through the regular season. Yet he is asking for top 5 quarterback money. I understand the ways of supply and demand but an above average at best quarterback shouldn’t be asking that much money.

So in conclusion I can honestly say that I see the Ravens keeping Flacco one way or another be it via the franchise tag or via a new reasonable contract Ozzie Newsome is a great general manager and he’ll make the right decision.


James is a draftnic who won't call himself an expert. He has followed the NFL draft since 2004. James believes that history and precedence as well as a keen eye for talent is the real key for predicting and accurately defining what makes good NFL players and where they fit in the NFL. As a college graduate in Bioinformatics he has grown to adapt to reading trends weather it comes in the form of genetic material or NFL prospects he devotes hundreds of hours a year to the craft of studying the NFL draft from all angles to create an unique and in all hopes accurate draft experience to all who would listen.

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