Flacco’s contract is one word: Prodigal

Prodigal – a person who spends, or has spent, his or her money or substance with wasteful extravagance.

Prodigal can sum up the actions of the Baltimore Ravens in offering Joe Flacco a contract that will make him the highest quarterback in NFL history.

According to ESPN, Flacco and the Ravens agreed to a six-year, $120.6 million contract and Flacco is expected to sign the deal on Monday in Baltimore.

If you have read my previous columns on contract terms, you know how I feel about this situation.

Once again, we have an athlete being overcompensated for his performance. Yet, in this case, the Ravens had no choice, but Flacco did.

The Ravens HAD to re-sign Flacco, but Flacco didn’t have to. Flacco could have pulled a Drew Brees and lock a stranglehold on the Ravens until his demands were met. But both sides can agree to this.

Flacco wanted to be with the Ravens for a substantial amount of money and the Ravens wanted Flacco at whatever cost it took; even if it meant offering him max amount.

Do I agree with the signing? Yes.

Do I agree with the terms? Read the first sentence of this column.

Flacco deserved to be paid well for all he has done. After all, he has made the playoffs since arriving to the NFL. He is the most consistent quarterback the past five seasons and he finally added Super Bowl MVP to that resume last month.

He has also dealt with being the most undervalued quarterback in the NFL. Even with this signing, many are still berating Flacco as overrated and many are suggesting Flacco won’t live up to his contract.

You’re right, he won’t, because he shouldn’t be the richest quarterback in NFL history. The man who should be the richest quarterback took a pay cut earlier this week.

Flacco will, however, live up to most of that contract because he is now the face of the Ravens franchise with the exit of Ray Lewis. Flacco’s flawless playoff performance should be an indication of what to expect to all the Flacco cynics. When you are able to outperform Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in two consecutive weeks, you don’t need to validate anything to anyone.

The only flaw is the Raven’s pursuit of Flacco this offseason was nothing short of prodigal. Yes, he deserves to be paid justly, but to make him the richest quarterback in the NFL not only brings with it puzzlement, but expectation and risk.

Now, the expectations for the Ravens are to be Super Bowl contenders every year. If you have the richest quarterback on your team, there is no reason why the Ravens shouldn’t be. I mean, it is the reason why they re-signed him right? Anything less of that expectation will result in banter of failure.

The risk with Flacco being paid so much? The risk of Flacco’s performance becoming more undervalued than it already is. If critics and sports analysts everywhere still downgraded Flacco in the season he won the Super Bowl, what is to say they won’t this year?

Picture this: Flacco throws 3 touchdowns for 300 yards and the Ravens win against the Patriots. Next day, the comparison is made whether or not Flacco is better than Tom Brady and the majority will say no. I’ll admit it, I would say no as well, but guess what?

This actually happened.

In Week 3, Flacco outperformed Brady and he still did not get the respect he deserved. Offering him a max contract does not end the talk of whether or not he is elite because critics will continuously bash him until he wins 2 more Super Bowls to match Tom Brady.

Only then will the talk cease.

For now, the contract is nothing less of prodigal. Overcompensation hasn’t worked in the past with athletes and it won’t work with Flacco. He may win another Super Bowl, but it won’t validate the title he now holds. So congratulations, Flacco, “The Highest Paid Quarterback in NFL History” (who only has 1 Super Bowl title).

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2 thoughts on “Flacco’s contract is one word: Prodigal

  1. I think many were surprised of Flacco’s new contract. But prodigal is excessive. Prodigal, as you have define, means Flacco was a waste, of no value to the team. That is not the case. Flacco has proven his worth. He has gotten the Ravens into the playoffs ever since he entered the league. Not many “elite” quarterbacks can claim such an accolade. Take Bress and Manning as an example. Both have won on the big stage but did not make a peep in the playoffs. Flacco has developed into a top five reliable quarterback and is worth the money he received.
    Your article praises Flacco and does not clearly state why he is not worth the money besides, the fact that he has only one superbowl win. See Brees and Vick.
    Furthermore, no one expects the Ravens to be superbowl contenders every year. That is unrealistic to any reasonable person. Maybe playoffs, then yes. No one expected Brees to headline every superbowl after his contract last year. Again, it stands to reason that one person will not win you a superbowl all the time (see Brady and his lack of defense).
    Your article provides no solid structure as to why Flacco is overpaid. In fact, contrarily, your column praises him for his consistency and ability to overcome other top quarterbacks. Moreover, your bashing of Flacco’s worth begs the questions of what you think he should have gotten paid. In my opinion he is worth every cent, and will probably win another superbowl in his time..just saying.

    1. Hi B! Thanks for the comment! I love your comment because you make very valid arguments. As we have seen in the past, quarterbacks who made a lot of money did not headline Super Bowls and it should not be one player that wins the Super Bowl all the time.

      My article isn’t about why he is being overpaid, but focused more on the idea of the money he is now going to earn. If you read previous articles, you will see I am very anti-big money because sometimes the athlete doesn’t deserve the money and usually what occurs is a lack of production because of the contract. I am not saying Flacco does not deserve big money because you are right. He is a top five caliber quarterback and an ELITE one as well, no question about that. However, I am more concerned about what critics would say about him.

      I love Flacco, don’t get me wrong. You can read an article I wrote before the Super Bowl defending his statement about being elite before the 2012-2013 season began. He should be getting around Tom Brady money, but not over Drew Brees because unlike these two, Flacco has a defense he can rely on. Without the Brees or Brady, you can argue both teams would be very different and you can’t deny the Ravens defense would make up for any mistakes Flacco made on an offensive run.

      With that said, Flacco should be making around Brees money, but not over him and that’s where the prodigal statement comes. You see sports nowadays has fallen into the habit of overpaying someone and more times than not, the athlete either missed or barely met expectations (Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Michael Vick, Carlos Beltran, the list goes on) and it is now starting to spread into the NFL. So when I say prodigal, it isn’t a jab of no value to the Ravens, it is an expression of the mindset many owners have in sports is overpaying players in an effort to secure them.

      You are right, one player does not make a team which is why Flacco should not be the highest paid quarterback because without weapons such as Ray Rice and his defense and John Harbaugh as his coach, you can argue the season could have been a lot different. He will probably win another Super Bowl in his time. This article is more positioned to address the overspending as well as the risk and expectation that goes along with being the highest paid quarterback in the NFL.

      In my opinion, if you are making the most money, you are a contender and if you’re not a contender, something is wrong and this is another example of where prodigal can come in. Take the New York Yankees, the prime example of prodigal. The evil empire overpay their players excluding Derek Jeter and no one performs to the standard they should and the richest team in baseball are not favorites to win a championship. The same concept applies to this situation. If Flacco does not contend for a Super Bowl, the money is a waste, plain and simple.

      For his sake, I hope he wins a couple Super Bowls so he can put his critics to shame, but until then, this contract will be the benchmark he has to overcome because if he doesn’t, it will be prodigal.

      Thanks for the comment B! I appreciate it a lot. If you want to engage in more discussion, tune in on Monday to listen to my radio show, The Box, airing at 11:30 pm Monday through Thursday and Fridays at 3:30. Spread the word and stay scholarly!

      -The Sports Scholar

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