The Baltimore Ravens recently signed Joe Flacco to a new three-year contract extension including an NFL record signing bonus of $40 million. Flacco is now the highest paid quarterback in the league on an annual basis at $22.1 million per year. His $44 million guaranteed is the second most total guaranteed money of any quarterback.
Is Flacco really worth that money? The Ravens' actions obviously prove they think so. But for some reason Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome felt the need to justify it further by publicly comparing Flacco to other NFL quarterbacks.
"Joe is our quarterback, and we’re proud to be able to say that. Teams struggle with the quarterback position," Newsome said.
"Philly signing [Sam] Bradford and Washington having to put the franchise tag on [Kirk] Cousins [are examples]. They don’t have the resume that Joe has, and for us to be moving forward with a guy that has eight years and won a Super Bowl and been in three AFC championship games, it speaks volumes."
The Eagles signed Bradford to a reported four-year deal worth $72 million, an average of $18 million per season. Bradford hasn’t had nearly as much career success as Flacco.
Cousins’ franchise tag is a one-year, $19.95 million contract. Cousins had a breakout 2015 season, but that was his first year as the team’s full-time starter. In 2014, Cousins was benched midway through the season after throwing nine interceptions to 10 touchdowns.
First of all, this article is factually wrong. Bradford did not receive a four-year deal. Where the hell is that figure coming from? It's a two-year contract.
Now onto Newsome's argument itself. There's no question Flacco is a more accomplished quarterback than Bradford and Cousins. He's 6-2 in his last eight playoff games and he's thrown for a 21-3 touchdown to interception ratio during that span. That's impressive. He also won a Super Bowl in 2012, which is obviously more important than anything. But the old cliche is that the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately?" league. And what exactly has Flacco done for the Ravens since winning the Super Bowl? Let's take a look.
The fact that Newsome felt he had to justify Flacco's contract like this shows insecurity. It's also hypocritical. Based on the numbers, the Ravens themselves have "struggled with the quarterback position" in recent years.
Kudos to the Washington team's Twitter account for coming up with this response:
Washington Redskins (@Redskins) March 3, 2016
Unfortunately the Eagles haven't said anything back so far. Come on, Birds, are you just going to take that?