Flacco becomes highest paid player, under either standard


During the Eli Manning negotiations last year, the Giants leaked to the media that Manning wants to be the highest paid player in football. The tactic worked; Eli didn’t push his leverage as aggressively as he could have, accepting a deal that didn’t make him the highest paid player.

The Ravens could have done the same thing this year regarding Joe Flacco, but they didn’t.

The end result? Flacco, even as he recovers from a torn ACL, is once again the highest paid player in football, under either of the metrics used to assess player contracts.

Currently, NFL contracts are assessed by one of two standards: (1) by looking at the value of the deal from the moment it is signed; or (2) by calculating the “new money” added when an existing contract is extended. (The latter formula is a bit misleading, because most extensions are actually new contracts, with a signing bonus earned upon execution and an adjustment to prior base salaries. Some agents embrace the notion that “new money” analysis is bogus; others defend it as an appropriate measure for assessing a deal, often because it makes the deal more valuable.)

Based on the reported value of Flacco’s new contract, he has the most valuable contract under either standard.

As of signing, the three-year extension has $66.4 million in new money. Coupled with the $58.6 million he was due to earn over the next three years, that’s a grand total of $125 million over six years, an average of $20.8 million — higher than Flacco’s prior high-water mark of $20.1 million.

And with $66.4 million in money he wasn’t due to earn, that’s an average of $22.13 million in new money, besting the $22 million in new money under the Aaron Rodgers extension in 2013.

The question now becomes whether Saints quarterback Drew Brees will top either average on a new contract aimed at cutting down his $30 million cap number for 2016. And then the question will become whether Andrew Luck will set the new record. And so on, until the top of the market begins to reflect the 25-plus-percent growth in the salary cap since Flacco and Rodgers signed their most recent deals.

104 responses to “Flacco becomes highest paid player, under either standard

  1. Being an average QB is quickly becoming a better job than being an average left handed relief pitcher.

  2. And none of these contracts compare to some baseball contracts which are fully guaranteed. A baseball player can sign a 5 yr 140 million contract, something happen and he never set foot on the field, and he will get the whole 140 million. A football player would POSSIBLY be able to keep the whole signing bonus, but the yearly salaries would be lost.

  3. Someone has to make the most money. The Ravens think it should be Flacco and it is up to the rest of the NFL to decide if anyone else deserves more of the cap all to themselves.

  4. what are the cap hits per year ??? the end of this contract has to be pretty ugly (much like the current contract….)

  5. I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry.

    Flacco is mediocre, at best, and this is how he is rewarded??

    Good luck managing the cap, everyone.

  6. Parents: Teach your kids to be QBs or left handed pitchers. Don’t bother with running back.

  7. The size of the contract is only partially about talent. More than anything it’s about timing, who else is out there, and the cap room available. Flacco barely makes it to “average” but I bet he’s laughing all the way to the bank (along with his agent, of course).

  8. no 4000+ yrd seasons, only 2 seasons 25 or more TD passes including a career best 27, no season with fewer than 10 picks thrown… makes sense I guess.

    10-5 in the post season, 3 AFC Championships, 1 Super Win, 1 Super Bowl MVP, a host of NFL records that PFT wouldn’t let me post. Yes, it does make sense.

  9. Its actually a smart tactic by Ozzie. 3 years ago, the salary cap went up significantly.

    This year, the cap jumped up another $12MM.

    Ozzie knows the cap will continue to grow, so might as well lock up a franchise QB for another 6 years and be done with it, knowing the QB market will only inflate from now on.

  10. As a Steeler fan this a great. A good QB? Certainly. But he’s not on that level where he elevates the play of the players around. He needs their help so locking up premier talent is going to be tough for the Ravens with his cap it and I think it’ll show in his and the teams performance (similar to last year).

  11. Jump Ball Joe needs a lot of help on offense…. His deal won’t help that and Ozzie can’t draft offemsive stars to save his life. But thanks for the comedy Ozzie.

  12. He’s won a Super Bowl, his career appears far from over, and his team’s success completely depends on him being there.

    That will continue to be an unbeatable set of circumstances for a big payday, and probably rightfully so.

    And yet Tom Brady takes less, and has won 4 Super Bowls and earned a place on the Mount Rushmore of QBs. So every choice has its potential ups and downs.

  13. all this was done so they don’t have to worry
    about him anymore.picked up 6 mill in space.

  14. How much do you want to bet that the Ravens go balls to the wall finding a crew of receivers and te’s for Flacco to connect with… They will hit the free agent market hard, taking the best available receiver out there… then they will go receiver in the first round of the draft, tight end in the second… they can afford it, their D is basically set.

  15. can’t even imagine what someone like JaMarcus Russell would be worth in this market- 35-40 million a year?

  16. Ladies and gentleman, the wizard of Oz! Who else has the vision to make a mediocre player the highest paid in the league not once, but twice?!? The second time fresh off a torn ACL? Bravo good chap!!!

  17. This is not just keeping their franchise QB happy but making them a prime spot for free agents. Come to Baltimore, we take care of our winners, just ask Joe.

    Look, the Ravens told Joe three years ago to go win a Superbowl then come in and pound his fist on the owners desk with his demands. To their credit the Ravens are holding their end of the deal.

    If you go to Cleveland, Buffalo, Tennessee, Miami, San Diego, Arizona, Cincy, New York (Jets), Atlanta, Jacksonville and all but maybe 8-10 teams, how many owners would not just buy a Superbowl for what they have paid Joe? I know Jerry Jones would pay cash.

    The Ravens told him to win a Superbowl and Joe produced with a near perfect post-season that year. He is going to get paid and I am glad it is by the team that told him to do it.

    Besides, the Ravens know that it is better to have a ring with Flacco than to listen to the people who only look at fantasy stats and think that Matt Ryan is a better QB. Joe has as many rings as Ryan has playoff wins.

  18. Well I mean I guess the way you look at it in today’s NFL if you are above average you get paid a load of money. Flacco is average when it comes to regular season but his impressive playoff resume has earned him this contract. When you got guys like Bradford making 18 million who can’t even stay healthy and has never got his team in the playoffs Joes contract isn’t even that bad lol.

  19. I think the Ravens realize they have to keep Flacco no matter what. If you end up with Cousins or Bradford for almost as much that is waaaaaay worse.

  20. ravensrooster94 says:
    Mar 2, 2016 3:32 PM

    no 4000+ yrd seasons, only 2 seasons 25 or more TD passes including a career best 27, no season with fewer than 10 picks thrown… makes sense I guess.

    10-5 in the post season, 3 AFC Championships, 1 Super Win, 1 Super Bowl MVP, a host of NFL records that PFT wouldn’t let me post. Yes, it does make sense.
    Brady has more than 2X post season wins, more than 3X AFC champoinships, 4X Super Bowl wins, 3X Super Bowl MVP and owns most every significant playoff records of any QB – ever.

    So by your logic Brady should be playing under about a $400M contract.

  21. At first, I laughed and thought this was unbelievable. Flacco is a good qb. Nothing more. By no means he can be considered an elite qb. And he is being paid like one of them. Good for him and his agent. But then I see that the Redskins just franchised Kirk Cousins who is going to get paid almost 20M for a good half-season and the Eagles gave 18-19M to Bradford who lives injured… and think that maybe the Flacco deal was a bargain.

  22. How many compromising pictures of Steve Bisciotti does Flacco own to pull this off? Then again, they WERE 2nd runner up….in their division.

  23. Flacco becomes highest paid player, under either standard
    This proves to all the trolls that Drew Brees is a BARGAIN

  24. Well deserved. Joe’s paid the most, ( for now), because he wins more than just about every other QB.

  25. “listen to the people who only look at fantasy stats and think that Matt Ryan is a better QB. Joe has as many rings as Ryan has playoff wins.”

    Well, to be honest, they are both just average QBs.

  26. If Flacco was married to a super model bringing home $50M a year where half that is his, he’d take a team friendly deal too. So can we all stop the Brady is such a team guy comments.

  27. Question: How do you get out of the consequences of a bad contract in the NFL?

    Answer: Rework that contract with an even worse deal that goes more years out. 🙂

  28. I am 100% shocked that the Ravens worked out a new deal for Flacco. 200% shocked it makes Joe Flacco the highest paid guy. Like many other overhyped quarterbacks, Flacco’s success s a product of the teams defense.

  29. As a Patriots fan, this is great news. I hope Brock Osweiler gives Flacco’s agent a call.

  30. just when you thought the Ravens learned there lesson the first time they gave him a new contract.

  31. win one sb for ozzie and he backs up a brinks truck to your house every weekend during the season

    what would he do if you win 2 sb for him?

    even peyton couldnt fathom the cash

  32. Wow I hope the Ravens have some witnesses for the straight up assault and robbery Flacco and his agent just committed. I know the draft is light on talent but cmon son giving Joey “I swear I’m elite” Flacco that kind of money is ludicrous with a capital Ludi

  33. This guy had one historic SBowl run, otherwise he’s just been your average Joe. Outside of that one year, his playoff record is barely above .500. Since he signed his contract after the SBowl, which was a good gamble on his part, he’s gone from being top 11-15, to being downright mediocre. The Ravens are 20-20 the last 3 yrs with Flacco starting. His rating is in the low 80’s. His TD/INT ratio is terrible. Yet he gets paid like a top of the line, elite QB, while the Ravens are in cap jail every year and having poor drafts. Good luck with that.

  34. Fortunate sure does favor the bold. Dude bet on himself to get that last ridiculous contract, and now that contract has to get reworked, at a time when they can’t afford to try and stare him down.

    Baltimore absolutely owes its success, in part, to him. Not to the tune of all *that* money, but some of it. The rest of it, he peeled them back for. As long as it doesn’t stunt the roster, good for him.

  35. How much is guaranteed? This maybe a smoke screen and just a way to get the cap space under control. Hard to believe they feel he is the very top of the QB’s. Need some investigative journalism to occur, me thinks.

  36. hate on brothers. then go back and look at your crappy team and wish you had consistent play and Super Bowl mvp playing for your team. Congrats joe, for doing the right thing, winning games, staying out of trouble, being a leader and not complaining with the 6 different OC’s you’ve worked under and the lack of talent/old men you’ve won with at wide receiver.

  37. It’s a good start, but should really be up around $100 million a year. Flacco should hold out of the preseason otherwise, that’s just good business sense.

  38. For guy whose trajectory isn’t the HoF that’s a load of moolah. That being said he is one of the fifteen or so players that actually deserve to be a starting QB. Given the scarcity of quality at the position this deal may be a bit high but that whole supply and demand issue looms large here for the Ravens.

  39. we all know he is not worth it. But thats the market for quarterbacks today. As a Raven fan as long it provides off enough to sign KO and possibly Upshaw , it will be worth it.

  40. Good for you, Joe! There are a few QBs out there right now getting paid a boatload of cash who have not won anything (for those of you in denial, Cutler, Romo …just to name a few). So, it’s a good day for Mr. Flacco, and I for one am happy for him, hope that knee is healing nicely and he will be ready for the season as expected!

  41. A phony narrative by the likes of Skip Bayless stated that Ravens won in postseason mainly due to leadership of defenders Lewis and Reed. When these guys were basically in their prime in the six years before Joe Cool arrived, Baltimore won no playoff games. The Flacco contract isn’t that outrageous when put in it’s proper context.

  42. jacktheraven says:
    Mar 2, 2016 4:18 PM
    Well deserved. Joe’s paid the most, ( for now), because he wins more than just about every other QB.

    Right. Because he won sooooo much last year before his injury.

  43. Why does NOBODY understand the cap. Joe was a giant hit against the cap this year. A cap that is expanding by 8-10 million a year. Guys like Bradford and Cousins are getting just a couple million less. This is an EXTENSION, meaning that those numbers are for 2019, 2020 and 2021. By then, 22 million for a serviceable NFL qb will be middle of the road, and if gives the Ravens 6 million in relief this year against the cap, to go after some more talent.

    Honestly, this was a win win for both sides. Flacco won’t even be a top 7 or 8 per year number by the time 2019 comes around.

  44. ravensrooster94 says:
    Mar 2, 2016 3:32 PM

    …3 AFC Championships, …
    Huh? Big Ben has 3 AFC Championships (that is, if you credit wins to a QB). Tom Brady has 6 AFC Championships, P. Manning has 4. According to NFL.com, Mr. Flacco (admittedly a fine QB) has 1 AFC Championship to his name. What am I missing here?

  45. Too many NFL fans equate the highest paid to being the best player. For argument sake Aaron Rodgers is the best NFL player, however the Packers cannot make him the highest paid player because it would create deficiencies elsewhere on the roster. Baltimore must feel Flacco’s leadership can make up for its shortcomings. Hmmm

    Packers 10-6

    Ravens 5-11

    need I say more.

  46. Qbs set the cap. Ozzie knows this and is raising the bar around d the league. Cap will have to grow with each successive qb restructuring- Rodgers, Brees etc. Nice signing by the Ravens.

  47. I am impressed that so many talent experts, GMs, and salary cap experts took the time to read and comment on this article.

  48. They were in a position where they couldn’t do anything other than this really. That being said, he has been the highest player in the league for years & I don’t think any reasonable person believes that he has ever been the best player in the league during that time. Pretty weird.

  49. It makes sense. There is almost nothing that contributes to team success over the long term than continuity at QB and head coach. And, like it or not, Flacco would be an upgrade on 15 or more NFL rosters today.

  50. To all the Joe Flacco critics, which team do you manage or own? It certainly isn’t the team that went to the playoffs in six of its last eight seasons, and won a Superbowl. This deal will make a lot more sense when you see Joe hoisting his second trophy in February.

  51. A lot of “experts” think Joe’s overpaid. I’ll name 4 who don’t. S. Biscotti, Ozzie, John Harbaugh and DeCosta. I’ll listen to these guys 1st.

  52. canedaddy says:
    Mar 2, 2016 5:59 PM
    Well deserved. He carried the team to one championship… more to come.

    Please explain how throwing up prayers and hoping for, and getting, PI calls is “carrying”. The only carrying was the NFL carrying Lewis to a Lombardi he didn’t deserve. Flacco was along for the ride.

  53. In a related interview Flacco was heard saying….

    “To all you haters, I threw 11 tds and 0 picks in a playoff run on the way to a Superbowl MVP. One thing NONE of your elite qb’s have ever done.

    I’m not elite. I just have beat elite quarterbacks in the playoffs like Manning, Brady, and Ben; most of whom had better defenses than me at the time.

    Hate on, then kneel down and kiss the ring.”

    End quote.

  54. Brees, Rodgers, E. Manning, Flacco, Wilson, Brady, and P. Manning. If your team’s QB isn’t one of these, you don’t know about elite status because QB’s how won SBs a million years ago don’t matter anymore. LOL.

  55. punkyqb: seriously??? Where is Cutler’s SB ring then? Where is his NFC Championship Title even? Give me a break! Flacco is waaaay better than Cutler and you know it. What is the saying in AA, “Accept the things you cannot change?” Again, My best wishes to Joe, the Ravens are my AFC team thanks in part to him because he is upstanding. He’s a great guy, not only is he a great QB, but he is EXTREMELY likeable!!! Yes, is does matter.

  56. theheyseed says:

    If he beats the Stealers twice a year it will be money well spent.
    Must be great to be a fan for a team that went 5-11 but is still considered to have a successful year because they beat a rival twice.

    So if the Steelers go 14-2 next year and the Ravens go 2-14, Ravens fans would be satisfied if the 2 wins were against the Steelers?

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