your backing up my point that you pay for what you think a player will become as much as what they are now. He said flacco isnt a top 5 player so isnt worth that money, webb had one good year so isnt worth his money by the same logic. But fact is they are paying for what they think webb will become, and they will do that for flacco as well. He will be overpaid at the time of the contract, but the FO will be thinking it will be fair or even a bargain by the end of the deal.
This is the part I don't like about NFL contracting. Rice's deal was up, so getting him done is the obvious priority. Flacco is still under contract until 2013. He should not be in position to resign over Rice, he should be next.
All this posturing and having to get something done now is just offseason distraction.
Luckily next year we don't have aot of FA's. Pollard and Reed are it(unless Flacco's deal doesn't get done). What'll really be interesting is MJD is a FA next year and maybe they see what he brings in a contract and try again with Rice as those two are more similar. I'm excited to see what Allen brings to the table and maybe look for that shifty back in the draft next year, RB by committee again.
In the end if it's Flacco or Rice there isn't a person with any intelligence thats going to choose Rice.
Flacco had a QB rating of 80.9 last year, which put him 18th in the league. Admittedly, QB rating isn't the be-all-end-all, but it does serve as a measure of efficiency that does have some correlation to winning games. So... the Ravens were capable of winning 12 games last year with a QB rating of 80.9. How many more games do they win if it's 90? What's a QB rating of 80 worth? What's the record of other teams who had a QB rating of ~80? Newton 84.5 rating/6 wins, Hasselbeck: 82.4/9, Dalton 80.4/9, Jackson 79.2/7, Fitzpatrick 79.1/6, Sanchez 78.2/8... That works out to an average of 7.5 wins, and a standard deviation of 1.37. So the Ravens got more than three standard deviations more wins than other teams with similar QB play.... that's a pretty FAR outlier. The big difference is the team with 12 wins also had the 3rd-ranked scoring defense... IMO.
I don't think Flacco gets any kind of a mega-deal from anyone else based on his body of work so far. That's why I'd be willing, were I the Ravens front office, to see what 2012 brings. If Flacco improves, great--it may cost more money, but it could also be a good problem to have. If he doesn't... well, it's frankly not that hard to find QBs who can average a rating of 80 for the year.
IMO, smart money says get flacco signed this year. If we were to win a SB this year his value would certainly be much higher. Right now, even though he is saying he is top 5, the facts and stats say differently. Get his deal done ASAP, and then rice next year.