Joe Flacco 2

Baltimore Ravens destroyed a team to pay a quarterback

As soon as the Super Bowl ended in 2013, I predicted that the Baltimore Ravens would fail to make the playoffs the following year. Although I didn’t believe he was worthy, I foresaw the organization giving Joe Flacco a ridiculous amount of money to keep him in Baltimore.  They did, and that was the beginning of the team’s demise.

Among the many players of importance lost to the Ravens in the off season was Anquan Boldin, Flacco’s ‘go-to’ receiver.  They lost a total of eight starting players to free agency, which enabled them to stay under the salary cap.

Yes, we watched as the Baltimore Ravens destroyed a team to pay a quarterback.

The 2013 season demonstrated a Baltimore offense and defense much less effective than the 2012 team, after Flacco received his new and very lucrative contract.  They finished third in the AFC North, and were out of the playoff picture.  In 2013 he threw 19 passes for a touchdown; 22 were intercepted.  He had his lowest passer rating since coming into the league at 73.1 percent.  During the previous season which led to the Super Bowl, he completed 22 passes for a touchdown, with only 10 interceptions.  He had his highest passer rating of 87.7 on their road to New Orleans.

I do not believe that he is worth 20 million dollars a year.  Giving a ‘good’ player that much money cost them more than just a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions.  That enormous figure should be reserved only for the elite in the NFL, and there are only three in that category; Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers.

Being a devoted Pittsburgh Steelers fan, I have watched Flacco play at least two games every season.  He is a very accurate ‘deep’ passer, but his throws are often slightly off target when he attempts a short pass across the middle, and even less accurate when his passes are to the sideline.

(Now that you know I’m a Steeler’s fan, I’ll bet you’re wondering why I didn’t include Ben Roethlisberger in the elite group.  I do, but those who don’t watch Pittsburgh on a regular basis have not witnessed his true value to the team, and do not rate him as the others.)

Joe FlaccoFlacco was given his new contract based on his Super Bowl win.  Apparently they didn’t take into account the less than satisfactory defensive performance by San Francisco in the first half.  And the league would like everyone to forget about the ‘non-call’ near the end of the game.  If pass interference had been correctly called in the end zone, the 49ers would have been raising the Lombardi Trophy, and I doubt Flacco’s contract would have been for 20 million dollars a year.

The real story here is what has been discussed for decades, there is too much money in professional sports.  Not even a quarterback, who has more responsibility than any position in all sports, is worth 20 million dollars a year.  Miguel Cabrera received a new contract from the Detroit Tigers which gives him nearly 30 million dollars in salary.  He will also receive bonuses; two million for being named the MVP, and one million if he wins another triple crown.  There is no doubt that he will be known as one of the greatest hitters of all time, but is he worth the money?  The contract is for nearly 300 million dollars for the next 10 years.  He is 30 years old.  He will soon become a designated hitter.

A baseball player has to be mechanically sound on defense.  His only real value to the team is on offense.  In a nine inning game, a hitter may come to the plate four or five times.  If he plays all 162 games, (which no one does), he could have as many as 810 at bats.  If he gets a hit 300 of that number, he will be a superstar, and he doesn’t have to drive in the winning run.  Something’s wrong with this picture.

But, I digress.

In Flacco’s defense, he lost his core receivers.  But it’s no excuse.  Peyton Manning set records in Denver, and the Patriot’s lost their entire receiving corps, and Tom Brady barely blinked an eye.

Just under five months from now, a new NFL season begins.  I will be fascinated to watch the Ravens, and see how they fare this year.  Four of their toughest games will be in their own division with the Bengals and Steelers.  And those teams know Flacco’s strengths and weaknesses very well.

James Turnage is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at

10 thoughts on “Baltimore Ravens destroyed a team to pay a quarterback”

  1. You’re a loser. Just like your team. Ravens won the SB Period Steelers suck. They will be lucky to finish 8-8. Ravens are going back to the SB. In Ozzie we trust.

  2. Yes, the Ravens had several salary cap casualties last year, but it was injury that caused most of the offensive woes. No running game, no pass protection, no chain-moving receiver. Sure, the loss of Boldin was difficult, but the loss of Pitta for most of the season, the loss of Birk to retirement, and the nagging injuries to Rice, Pierce and Osemele were catastrophic.

    What concerns me most about your article is that you don’t address Flacco’s salary cap hit in 2013. The $20 million figure you quote repeatedly is the average of his salary over the life of the contract. It includes signing bonuses and other incentives. It’s not necessarily all guaranteed, and the average doesn’t equate to the salary cap hit. I don’t know the cap hit in 2013, but I’ve read that this year’s hit is in the range of $15 million. That is less than 10 other league QB’s, including many that have not won a Super Bowl. Less than Manning and Rogers, but also less than Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler and Matt Stafford (to think Eli tops that list is really scary). Middle of the pack cap hit for an elite (or in some opinions, just less than elite QB).

    I respect the fact that you can admit being a Steelers fan, but don’t feed the hate for your team by trashing a player or team with no basis in fact. Stick to reporting the news, because your opinion is clearly wrong.

  3. The defense was better last year than the superbowl year. Check the stats. Do your homework before you write a story next time.

  4. Once dick Lebeau is gone the stillers are done. Old qb who can’t stay healthy, Head Coach that cheats, aging team with salary cap issues no wideouts. With gruden leaving I see a return of the bungles. 4 of the toughest games against pitt and cincy I guess we have the weakest schedule in the league this year.

  5. This is way off base. Im a redskins fan living in Baltimore. I detest the Ravens and Flacco, but this is so poorly written and the subject is so poorly explored that it angered me. I totally agree with your conclusion that they overpay this man. However, you neglected to mention the Ravens screwed up by delaying a contract with him and tagging him until after he won a superbowl and was declared the MVP of the game. They gambled and lost. And they couldn’t ditch another superbowl winning QB (Dilfer) so Flacco had a blank check. You also failed to mention the retirement of several players, including but not limited to Ray Lewis.

    Then you went on two distinct rants about Big Ben being elite (please), and pro athletes making too much money. Neither are related to the premise of the article. I also think both of these conclusions are incorrect, but lets stick to Flacco.

  6. James get over it. They had no choice but to pay him or have no QB. Is Jay Cutler worth it with no SB Hell No? Flacco is a franchise QB who most likely will bounce back in 2014.

  7. You haven’t done any of your homework on this article AT ALL . Joe’s salary cap # for this year is only $14,800.00 which is average for a decent NFL Franchise QB. And we didn’t have the injuries that we had last year we would have been right back in the Playoff mix . I can admit Joe at times struggles with short throws and that also has ALOT to do with who he is throwing it at . He really had No receiver’s for a good portion of the season Torrey and Marlon , Dallas Clark who is way outta of his Prime with Pitta going down and Jacolby getting injured and most obviously losing Boldin he had to wait for plays to develop and then our O-Line may have been the worst we have had since he was drafted . Then having issue with the running game really screwed the pooch for him which was also due to O-Line blocking and injury . I could write a similar article citing Ben’s Lack of Production but as a Fan of the Ravens I realize that it wouldn’t be received well with your fan’s and the Fact that without the Player’s around him and the Lack of Steeler’s running game along with your ever O-Line problems it would be Unfair to base his performance having such issues for him to deal with , as it is for you to do that to Joe . Unfortunately for the Steeler’s they have a Ageing team that I personally think were living off of what Cowher had in place and seem to Never Reload when necessary and continue to believe that things will get better the next year and it hasn’t . I love when Steeler’s fans throw up their 6 SB Rings in which is quite of a accomplishment but 3 of which were so long ago half or more of these people saying weren’t old enough or alive to remember or watch those . One last thing before I end this is as much as I agree with the toughest games this year because we have had some epic battles I think the Bengles will be the harder of the 2 series and we have to play some really good teams in Indy and Panthers , Atlanta as well so next time before you start your article use facts and not your hate ……

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