Last week Bill Barnwell of Grantland made a team out of the players with the worst contracts in the NFL. The starting quarterback of Barnwell’s team was Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens:
“Baltimore is stuck in this deal for years to come. It can’t really do much about this deal until after the 2016 season, during which Flacco will have a cap hit of — shield your children’s eyes — $28.6 million. In 2017, the Ravens get to choose between paying Flacco $31.2 million or eating $15.3 million in dead money on their cap. Flacco will be better than he was last year, and the cap is going to rise, but Flacco has to be a great quarterback to justify this deal, and the only time he really was great was during the 2012 playoffs.”
Those numbers are pretty daunting, no doubt. I have always felt that the Ravens overpaid for Flacco. He had an incredible run during the 2012 season but the team gave him so much money that they sacrificed their financial flexibility for years to come and had to let a number of talented players walk as a result.
Even still I don’t think it’s fair to call Flacco’s contract the worst in the NFL. There are at least a couple of guys whose deals are more monstrous.
How about Jay Cutler? This offseason the Bears gave him a seven-year deal worth a total of $126 million, and he didn’t even win a playoff game, let alone a Super bowl.
Then there’s Eli Manning, who like Flacco also cashed in after getting hot at the right time during a Super bowl run. He will be paid over $32 million in base salary the next two seasons, a year removed from leading the NFL in interceptions thrown.
There’s no question in my mind that Flacco is a better quarterback than those two, but whether or not his contract is worse is worth a debate.