Joe Flacco Might Not Be An Elite Quarterback Yet, But He Is About To Be Paid Like One

The Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl champs and quarterback Joe Flacco, the MVP of the game, can certainly take a lot of credit for that. Flacco ended the playoffs going 73-of-126 (57.9%) passing for 1,140 yards with 11 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Flacco had 20 pass plays that went for 20 yards or more in the four games and was very accurate with his deep throws as well.

If that is not enough, Flacco also showed his ability to extend plays during the playoffs in addition, particularly in the Super Bowl. He certainly understands the game and will now get paid for his efforts.

You can expect that the Ravens will place the franchise tag on Flacco in a few weeks in order to buy themselves some time to get a long term deal done with him. That deal, which could wind up being 6 years for $120 million, would make it a record breaker.

Does Flacco deserve that amount of money? Well, he has led the Ravens to the playoffs in each of his first five years in the league. He now boast a 9-4 career record in the playoffs, which could perhaps be even better had Lee Evans held on to the pass in the end zone, or had Billy Cundiff made the 32 yard field goal at the end of the 2011 AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.

Is Flacco now considered an elite quarterback in the league? Is he in the same class as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, or even Ben Roethlisberger for that matter? He has as many championships as both Manning and Rodgers does, but I still wouldn\’t call him an equal of all of the above just yet. He is close, however.

Flacco will, however, be paid like an elite quarterback this offseason, and as long as he remains healthy, he will give the Ravens a fighting chance each and every season moving forward, but isn\’t that what elite quarterbacks do?

  • TJimmy

    Flacco doesn’t put up the same level of passing yards that we see with other QB’s, and he gets rattled at times.

    At any rate I think it’s good that he gets paid, or overpaid. The Steelers will face the same quarterback, but the Ravens won’t be able to afford the same number of quality players that they have been in the past due to the salary cap.

    The Steelers have had that issue for many years with Ben, Troy and Harrison being on the team…and now the Ravens will face the same challenge. That’s good for the Steelers.

  • Buccos9

    Two things that benefit Flacco are a good O-line and big, physical receivers. He throws a lot of long passes up for grabs that might end up as interceptions except that Smith and Boldin adjust really well to underthrown balls, out muscle DBs for the ball, and use their hands to make the catch. In my opinion, receivers like that are far more valuable than the Mike Wallaces of the world who have to trap the ball against their bodies, don’t adjust well to the ball, and don’t fight for the reception, even if he “blows the top off the coverage”. I still give Flacco a lot of credit for not making the big mistake at a critical time. I can’t say that lately about Ben.

  • Yes, throw the ball down the field as far as you can and have terrible defenders blow their coverage. And just generally be a buffoon.

    By all means, Baltimore, pay him everything he wants.

  • steepens

    The Ravens had an awesome playoff run, in which Flacco threw no interceptions, and he made some good audible calls. Smith and Boldin have really come through for him, adjusting to balls that they had no right catching. Based on Flacco’s body of work the past 5 years, he is average overall, horrible away from M&T, and a poor playoff performer. The past 4 games of strong team play don’t erase 4 years of inconsistency and failure by Flacco. He may have made big steps towards turning the corner, and we’ll see based on how he plays, good or bad, next year… if the past 4 games were not a fluke, then he’ll show it. Cam Cameron may have been the disease that held Flacco back, or maybe it’s the dear antler candy shared by his senior teammate, or maybe being called “dull” by his own father raised the hairs on his back… in any case, I would only call him “elite” if I see a different Joe, consistently and over multiple seasons.

  • Mike O’

    Steeler Nation should be happy with Joe Flacco’s performance. The Raven’s also have 2013 CAP problems, and now they will have to add a20+ million/year QB salary. They will have to cut a lot of their defensive veteran’s this off-season to stay under!
    The only real negative is whether Joe Flacco (on his way up) will be better than Ben Rothlesberger (on his way down) as a Quarterback in their future divisional meetings. I do believe he already had a better game the last two times they played together.

  • mokhkw

    Games with a QB rating under 80 for Flacco in 2012 – 7

    Games with a QB rating under 80 for P.Manning in 2012 – 1

    I hate how when a QB is part of a SB winning team they’re labelled as elite. There’s a simple way to define if they’re elite – do they make the Pro Bowl year in and year out? Is it strange if they miss out? Are they CONSISTENTLY good, week in and week out?

    Most of all, do you have to think about if they’re elite or not? If you do, then they’re not elite. Elite is P.Manning, Brady, Brees and Rodgers – the obvious ones.

    Eli isn’t elite, neither is Ben, Flacco etc. Some, like Ryan, RGIII, Luck, Newton, Kaepernick etc, have a chance to grow into elite QBs in the next 2-3 seasons but until I see 3 seasons of elite play back-to-back then they’re another very good QB who you can win a SB with if surrounded by the right players.

    Great job by Flacco in the POs this year, they’ll give him a big$ contract for the publicity and then restructure him in 12 months time.