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  1. #1
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    Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens



    The Ravens will soon venture into dangerous and in many ways unchartered waters Ė waters that include a Joe Flacco contract extension.

    So why is this dangerous?

    Because how the Ravens handle it could drastically affect the future of the franchise. The Ravens must be careful not to overpay an above average quarterback.

    There I said it!

    Is it wrong? Is Joe Flacco better than an above average quarterback? If you answered yes, we arenít watching the same player. Canít be!

    Now Flacco supporters will point to his winning ways and say that stats donít matter, only the ďWísĒ. And while I would agree that he has been a winner, are those winning ways due to his outstanding achievement or are they the byproduct of a team effort?

    Flaccoís performance in last yearís AFC Championship has been widely praised, as it should be. But he lost. So as much as that was a team loss, donít the same rules apply to a win?
    Clearly Flacco has been a stabilizing force. Heís managed regular season games extremely well and heís helped put the Ravens in position to make an impact in the post season.

    But is he a difference maker?

    For years Baltimore has been cursed with inept play at the quarterback position. Then along comes Flacco in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

    Suddenly ineptness didnít stand behind center for the Ravens. And our collective affinity for the man grew at least in part not by his accomplishments but more so by the fact that he just didnít mess things up. He didnít trip over his feet. He didnít throw inexplicable interceptions or fumble without being touched.

    Flacco is a clear upgrade over what the Baltimore Ravens have ever had and therefore itís easy for fans to fall in love.

    Even owners!

    Steve Bisciotti has said that Flacco is the reason that the Ravens have kept the window of opportunity open for four straight seasons. And now heís working on a fifth straight year of playoff berths.

    But does that make him worthy of top end dollars Ė to become one of the leagueís highest paid players?

    Some would say that the coaching staff has held Flacco back Ė specifically Cam Cameron. On the surface itís hard to argue with that but might there be a reason that the team has held Flacco back? Does the coaching staff see his limitations and therefore they dummy down the offense?

    While most will tag Cameron with a plethora of disparaging nicknames, some of which canít even be printed here, letís face it, the guy knows more about football than 99% of the fans out there. This has been his life for nearly 30 years and even if he was a 1-15, one year and done head coach, he was one of only 32 coaches of his kind at one point in his career.

    So it stands to reason that he is aware of how this is going down, right?

    And if heís not, Cameronís boss John Harbaugh has to see the problems, right? How could he accept such ongoing offensive inconsistencies unless he is ok with the way things are being handled?

    Clearly thereís a major disconnect.

    So how do you gauge Flaccoís market value?

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  2. #2
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    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    But are you really ready to throw Flacco away and start over at the QB position? You can't have it halfway, here's either here getting paid a lot or he's not on the team.




  3. #3
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    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by Coastergenius View Post
    But are you really ready to throw Flacco away and start over at the QB position? You can't have it halfway, here's either here getting paid a lot or he's not on the team.
    "Right player, right price"
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  4. #4

    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by Coastergenius View Post
    But are you really ready to throw Flacco away and start over at the QB position? You can't have it halfway, here's either here getting paid a lot or he's not on the team.
    Would the Ravens really be any worse off picking up a talented vet like Cutler, Vick, or Palmer? These guys have all been shopped around. They don't come cheap either, but I'm sure more reasonable than the money Flacco will ask for.




  5. #5

    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    Flacco is going to get his money - you can bet on it.

    If the Ravens don't pay him what he thinks he's worth HE WON'T SIGN and the Ravens will be forced to franchise him. That $17M-$18M right there - with an equivalent direct cap hit. If it goes one for a subsequent year it would probably be in excess of $18M.

    A long term deal that keeps Joe happy and lessens the cap hit is in everybody's best interest.




  6. #6
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    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevlar View Post
    Would the Ravens really be any worse off picking up a talented vet like Cutler, Vick, or Palmer? These guys have all been shopped around. They don't come cheap either, but I'm sure more reasonable than the money Flacco will ask for.
    Um, no thank you.




  7. #7
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    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by rharris1986 View Post
    Flacco is going to get his money - you can bet on it.

    If the Ravens don't pay him what he thinks he's worth HE WON'T SIGN and the Ravens will be forced to franchise him. That $17M-$18M right there - with an equivalent direct cap hit. If it goes one for a subsequent year it would probably be in excess of $18M.

    A long term deal that keeps Joe happy and lessens the cap hit is in everybody's best interest.
    Joe will get paid a ton elsewhere and flourish under a modern offensive system. You heard it here first.

    It's hard to play good in Cam's 1960's offense.




  8. #8

    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    the flacco debate is interesting because people like to compare him to Manning Brees Rodgers and Brady which he inevitable falls short overall and therefore is only above average. Compare him to the likes of the 2nd tier where hes being valued at and hes very comparable to the likes of Manning, Roethlisberger, Rivers, Ryan and Cutler who are all flawed in their own ways but still considered good to great QBs. then you look at the offenses those same qbs work in and the talent they have on their teams and you start to realize that its not even that comparable. IMO, if they let him go, theres going to be a lot of people wishing they had him back when hes throwing for 4500 25-30 TDs a year in a system that actually plays off his strengths. If we "overpay" him, im no as worried about, because if Cam is gone and we get some better or even just take advantage of the talent we do have hell be a lot more comparable to those QBs. what you call "overpaying" may end up being market value in the end, or possibly even a discount.
    -JAB




  9. #9
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    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    Cutler's made of glass, Palmer's old, declining, plus never won in the playoffs and if they signed Vick I would probably stop watching the Raven's altogether.




  10. #10
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    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    The Ravens are in a tough situation.

    They really are going to have to make some decisions this off-season that they probably don't want to make (Boldin...Jacoby...Ed Reed...Ray Lewis...etc), however this team finally has a QB who can win games, bring them back, produce game winning drives, and is durable.

    I agree that overpaying Flacco may be a big problem, but I think they owe it to themselves to really see how Flacco does in a more modern NFL system before they can really make the call. Look how long it took Matt Schaub to develop and he isn't anywhere near as durable as Flacco is.

    You can make the argument that Matt Ryan is further along, but frankly, he should be. There is a ridiculous amount of statistical evidence (scheme notwithstanding) showing why Ryan is the better QB right now (allegedly). I mean, it is entirely probable that we'd be saying the same things if Matt Ryan were in Baltimore and Flacco were in Atlanta.

    The Ravens front office should probably tag him if he won't sign a fair deal. This way they can (#1) see him in a different offensive scheme and (#2) get him a better OL and better receivers.

    This draft is also going to be pretty important for the Ravens because conceivably, they really need key players on both sides of the ball. ESPECIALLY if they let Boldin and/or Jacoby go after this season.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    Quote Originally Posted by Paintballguy View Post
    Joe will get paid a ton elsewhere and flourish under a modern offensive system. You heard it here first.

    It's hard to play good in Cam's 1960's offense.
    He would and we would all be sitting around wondering "what the fuck!?" when Flacco leads another team with a better offensive system to SB appearances and likely SB victories.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Overpaying Flacco could sink the Ravens

    I think Tony's point is just that: You can't let Joe walk, because you have no viable plan B, but if you pay him you can't fix the other things needed for team success.

    The fundamental disconnect is between Flacco & Harbaugh. Joe fancies himself a riverboat-gambling gunslinger; John wants careful, risk-avoiding, steady if unspectacular play at QB. Joe thinks he can & should put the team on his back; John won't take that chance until & unless the Ravens are down by two scores halfway through the 4th quarter & he has no higher-probability option. These are not compatible philosophies.

    The disconnect has been spackled over this year with a thick layer of good luck--through the season the team has been winning often enough that no one wants to mess with the setup for fear of missing the playoffs--but that may be to the detriment of future seasons. (And no one whose opinion I respect expects the Ravens to make any noise in the postseason even if they get there, which is still very much in doubt. Having a ticket to the dance doesn't mean much if you've got two left feet, unless your fairy godmother shows up to shazaam you into Fred Astaire.)

    It looks like the least unpalatable option is to franchise Flacco & give him free rein next year & let him prove (or disprove) that he's got that level of talent, regardless of the won-lost record. But I fear that too would end badly, because even if they can Cam & bring in an OC copacetic with gunslinging, I don't think Harbaugh would be comfortable with the change in philosophy, & he would put shackles on the offense at every turn. I fear that at the end of the 2013 season we won't know any more about Flacco's potential than we do now.

    Meanwhile the rest of the roster suffers from the misjudgements of the front office & coaching staff. But that's a subject for another thread...




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