Now comes one of the most controversial topics in the NFL when dealing with contracts. Did Joe Flacco really deserve his contract? I mean, this is a guy who’s won a playoff game in all five of his seasons with the team, and he just won a Super Bowl with the Ravens last year. That sounds like a guy that deserves a big contract, right? Well…maybe not. When he signed his deal, it made him the highest paid QB in NFL history, and that’s where the ridiculousness begins. While his cap hit is only $6.8 million this year, lower than the majority of players at his position who start, he’s actually making $30 million in cash due to his signing bonus. To say that Joe Flacco led the Ravens to the Super Bowl just simply isn’t true. Is this guy a good quarterback? Yes, of course he is, but no more than good. He’s solid. He’s a good guy to have as your starter, but he’s nowhere near the caliber of “highest paid QB in NFL history.” That’s just embarrassing for the sport to know that he had that moniker when he signed the new contract.
Sure, he fits the bill for “successful QB” because he has a ring and can get it done in the playoffs, but statistically he just doesn’t help the team enough. While he doesn’t throw a lot of INTs, he doesn’t throw a lot of TDs either, meaning the points are being scored by someone else. Someone else is making it happen. Someone else is winning the games for the Ravens. While this may just be the way the Ravens run their offense, it doesn’t mean that he deserves elite QB money just because he’s the QB on a team that’s doing well. Their defense seems to always be in the top 10, many times in the top 5, and have been dominating this league for a while. Now that the team has lost about half of their starters from that side of the ball, this year will be a better indication of how good Flacco really is. He’s already lost Dennis Pitta and Anquan Boldin on offense, so he’ll be tight-pressed for high-quality talent. If Flacco can get it done this year and have a great year, then he’ll prove that he deserves elite QB money. But at this point, there’s no way he deserves his contract. Final verdict: he does not deserve his contract.
Another name that fits in the controversial section of this discussion is Eli Manning. If QBs are labeled solely on Super Bowl wins, then he’s a top three quarterback in the league. But if you take into account how much he helps the team during his career (including the Super Bowl wins), then he may even struggle to make the top ten. There’s no doubt that this guy has shown flashes of greatness, especially in the playoffs like Flacco did. He’s won two rings in nine years with the team and has accumulated 31,000 passing yards. He’s been the clear leader of this team’s offense. But does he really deserve to be considered elite? While it’s obvious that “you can’t win them all,” it seems like Eli prefers to either win it all or win nothing. He’s made the playoffs five times with the Giants: two times they won the Super Bowl, the other three times they lost in their first game. Also, he’s often been considered a turnover machine. He’s had 174 turnovers in 134 games with the Giants, meaning he’s guaranteed to turn it over at least once a game. Flacco has only 74 turnovers in 80 games, a much lower ratio. One a game is reasonable, but Manning’s ratio is a little out of control. In addition, he’s rather inconsistent and has had too many head-scratching plays and seasons overall. But somehow, Eli has the highest cap hit among any QB in the league this year at $20.85 million. That’s much too high for Eli’s accomplishments and where he is in his career. While he’s certainly a very good QB, he definitely shouldn’t be hurting the team’s cap by that much, especially knowing that it’s higher than any other player at his position in the league. Final verdict: he does not deserve his contract.
Part 8 will be released tomorrow.