When assessing the consequences of the gamble the Ravens lost (by winning the Super Bowl), it’s important to remember one thing.
By not signing a new deal prior to the 2012 season, quarterback Joe Flacco played last year for $6.76 million.
If, hypothetically (wink . . . nod . . . fart), the Ravens had offered Flacco in August 2012 a five-year deal that would have replaced the final season of his five-year rookie contract and if, hypothetically (wink . . . nod . . . shart), the five-year package had an average of $16 million per year, the Ravens came out of this not with a five-year, $80 million dollar deal but a seven-year, $127.3 million arrangement.
The average over the seven years is $18.19 million. By the last few seasons of the deal, there’s a chance that 10 or more quarterbacks will be making as much or more per year.
Even if the Ravens had been offering $18 million per year last August, they would have had Flacco under contract through 2016. He’s now under contract through 2018, at roughly the same average.
So while Flacco indeed took a chance and won, the Ravens didn’t lose quite as badly as they could have — especially if the two sides hadn’t agreed to a deal by Monday, at which time the Ravens most likely would have applied the non-exclusive franchise tag and other teams would have accelerated their plans to make a run at getting Flacco to sign a front-loaded offer sheet.
To his credit, Flacco opted not to push the game of chess/chicken to the brink. In that regard, he did far more for his team this week than did St. Thomas of San Mateo.