Super Bowl 2013: Is Joe Flacco Worth $20 Million?


As the nation gets ready for Super Bowl XLVII this Sunday, word has leaked out that Raven’s QB Joe Flacco will be seeking a contract extension this offseason that will pay him $20 million per season.

Jan 20, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) passes against the New England Patriots in the first quarter of the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

$20 million isn’t an arbitrary number. It also happens to be what Peyton Manning will earn in in 2013, when he will be the highest paid player in the NFL. Flacco and his agent clearly believe that Flacco deserves the same type of money, but is he the same quality of QB? It’s tough to make a case that he is.

The regular season numbers certainly don’t favor Flacco’s claim. Flacco’s 87.7 rating was the 12th best by NFL QBs (Manning was 2nd). His QBR was the down at 25th (Manning was #1). Pro Football Focus has Flacco’s season at #20. (Manning is again #1.) From that point of view, the two quarterbacks should definitely not be paid similar money.

The playoff numbers are a different story. Flacco’s 114.7 rating is the highest of any QB this season. His QBR is the 3rd in the league even though he’s the only QB to have played in three playoff games so far. PFF also has him 3rd among playoff QBs. Plus there’s the fact that Flacco and the Ravens beat Manning and the Broncos in Denver.

That has been the case over his entire career. While Flacco isn’t a particularly good regular season QB, he does seem to dial it up to a whole different level in the post season. The question then becomes, is that enough?

Does being able to play well in the playoffs make Flacco worth the same contract money as players who play at a much higher level over the course of the regular season?

I guess we’ll see this off-season. It’s going to be an interesting story line to watch over the next couple months.