Joe Flacco is on top of the world right now.
He and the Baltimore Ravens agreed to a contract that will make him the highest-paid player in the long history of the National Football League. Flacco is now set for life, considering he'll make $120.6 million over the next six years.
Flacco deserved to get paid. He caught fire at the right time, pulled the Ravens through the playoffs and was able to give Ray Lewis his fairy-tale ending by winning Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers.
While he did deserve to get paid big time, there are some who believe he shouldn't be the NFL's highest-paid player of all time.
Think about it; Flacco is a very good quarterback. He's the prototypical pocket passer and has an arm as big as anyone in the league. He's completed 60.5 percent of his passes throughout his five-year career and has generally taken good care of the ball, as he has never thrown more than 12 interceptions in one season. He has never missed a game, either, so he's durable.
He also had one of the all-time great postseasons as he threw 11 touchdowns with no picks. He took down Peyton Manning in Denver and Tom Brady in Foxborough for the AFC Championship. The 2013 playoffs were about as tough as it gets, but Flacco and the Ravens pulled through impressively.
He is simply a winner; he's proved that ever since he entered the league in 2008.
There are many reasons why Flacco deserves the money, but what about the arguments against this payday?
Flacco has never thrown more than 3,817 yards in one season.The 2012-13 season was his most productive. He's never thrown more than 25 touchdowns like he did in 2010-11.
And to be quite honest, there are several other quarterbacks I'd rather have if I needed to win one game. Brady, Manning, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford, Matt Ryan, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Tony Romo are all guys I'd pick before Flacco to have a big game and put up massive statistics.
But if I needed to have success over a long period of time, give me Flacco. If my team had to get to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl in only one year, Flacco is the man.
In other words, he's not elite when it comes producing huge numbers of yards. But he is an elite winner.
Baltimore isn't paying Flacco to throw for over 5,000 yards like Brees does or throw for 45-plus touchdowns like Rodgers and Manning do.
The Ravens are paying for long-term success and great quarterback play in the times that really matter, like in the playoffs.
Let's just hope he keeps up the kind of play that got him this payday. If anything it increases the pressure on him to produce wins.
Get to work, Joe.
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