Joe Flacco has gotten his fair share of flack over the years for not bringing more success to Baltimore. Sure, Flacco has consistently made the playoffs as a quarterback and has managed to not completely destroy the Ravens offense, but he’s never played in a Super Bowl and he’s never come up big in tight situations.
he also happens to be in the era of the quarterback, where Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Matt Ryan, among others, rule the league. Flacco is on one of the better teams in the NFL, but according to one former general manager, it’s his status as a quarterback that might be holding the Ravens back and that status is not an elite one.
“I look at Flacco like Matt Schaub, who got a (four-year, $62 million) deal in the $15 million range — that’s where this guy and Tony Romo should be,” Former NFL general manager Charley Casserly told USA TODAY Sports. “Matt Ryan ascended this year. Joe Flacco didn’t. He’s not with the Aaron Rodgerses, Tom Bradys, Peyton Mannings.”
Before we read too much into what Casserly has to say about a quarterback, lest we forget this is the guy who went all in on David Carr and lost his job because of it. Casserly, who was also a general manager for the Washington Redskins from 1989 until 1999, is now an ‘expert’ for the CBS NFL Today pregame show.
“He’s going to be their quarterback going forward,” Casserly continued. “It’s just a question of whether they get a deal or franchise him.”
Rich Gannon, who is a former MVP quarterback and also works at CBS as a color commentator, thinks that even if Flacco isn’t considered ‘elite’ he’s still going to get elite dollars on the open market.
“Joe’s going to make that type of money, whether the Ravens like it or not. He’s not Brady, Peyton Manning, Rodgers or Brees. But they’re going to have to pay a pretty high, franchise quarterback number.”
Flacco is a free agent after this season, and the discussion is starting now as to what the Ravens should justifiably pay him. If the two sides can’t agree on a long term deal, the Ravens have the option of placing a $14.8 million franchise tag on him.
Gannon didn’t come out and say that $14.8 million was a bargain for Flacco, but he did say that Flacco’s value and worth will be tested as the Ravens enter a new era in their franchise.
“In terms of arm talent, he’s a top five guy,” Gannon says. “For a 6-6, 245 guy, he’s very athletic. The question for Joe is about stepping up — with Ray Lewis retiring, Joe is going to have to step outside his comfort zone and be more demanding of teammates, play more of a demonstrative leadership role.”