The deal, first reported by Fox Sports, will be worth $120.6 million over 6 years. The average of $20.1 million per year will make Flacco the highest paid player in NFL history. Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints QB, previously held this distinction, earning $20 million per year.
As an unrestricted free agent, it was widely expected that Ravens would place their franchise tag on Flacco. The deadline to place the tag is Monday which explains why a deal got done now. If Flacco was tagged, he would have earned $19 million this season.
Instead of counting as $19 million against the cap this season, Flacco will count as $7 million against the cap. The reason for this is that the Ravens are close up against the cap. After this deal with Flacco, the Ravens will have about $10 million in cap room left for the upcoming season. However, this is before tenders for RFA and ERFAs, which will take up at least $5 million of that room.
This deal comes on the heels of Flacco’s historic playoff performance and the Raves victory in Super Bowl XLVII, where Flacco was the MVP. In the playoffs, Flacco threw 11 TDs and 0 INTs, including 3 TDs in the Super Bowl.
While Flacco isn’t the best quarterback in the NFL, this deal had to be done. The was no way that the Ravens could let their first real franchise quarterback in franchise history leave. The playoffs showed that the Ravens are in transition from a defensive team to an offensive team, and this contract is the confirmation of this.
Flacco hasn’t put up big numbers so far in his career but, he has never had to as the defense has always been great and he has had Ray Rice to hand the ball off to. The one thing Flacco has done, is win. He was won a total of 63 games (including playoffs) in his five years in Baltimore. These wins are six more than anyone else since 2008 (when Flacco entered the league). He also has nine playoff wins in this span, which is tied with Patriots QB Tom Brady for the most by a quarterback in his first five seasons.
Adding to this, Flacco has never missed a start in his five years. His streak of 80 straight starts is currently the third best active streak in the NFL.
The previous face of the franchise, LB Ray Lewis, retired after the Super Bowl. Now, Flacco is the face of the franchise. Whether he likes it or not, he will be the face of the franchise. He was just the Super Bowl MVP and now is the highest paid player in NFL.
Personally, I expected the deal to be for 5 years and worth $101 million. This would have made him the highest paid player in the NFL as well, paying Flacco $20.2 million per year. Adding the extra year for the Ravens is good as it keeps Flacco for one more year.
Flacco is the highest paid player in NFL history right now but don’t expect that to last long. Brees only signed his deal last year but there are two other quarterbacks who have to have taken note of Flacco’s contract. They are the Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Falcons QB Matt Ryan. Out of those two, Rodgers deserves to be the highest paid player in the league and Ryan deserves a big contract but probably not top player money.