Quote Originally Posted by redmike34 View Post
Nowhere did I say "get rid of Flacco." What I did say is don't tie up a lot of money in him right now, until there's a better idea as to whether or not last year was an aberration. If he goes from 93.6 rating in 2010 to 80.9 in 2011 back to ~90 or better in 2012... okay, put some money into him, I'll feel like it's worth it. If the 2012 number is ~85 or lower... I don't know, I think you really have to start thinking about how much money you give him in a long-term deal at that point. If the Ravens are going to continue to win games mostly on the backs of having a great defense (as they've been doing, IMO), doesn't it make sense to keep as much of the cap space as possible free to spend on the defensive side of the ball? If Flacco's never again going to perform at a level higher than last year, but the Ravens still win 12 games with that level of performance, why bother spending a lot of money on offense?

The cap gymnastics dictate that you can't have it all--no team can afford to have a Ray Lewis, an Ed Reed, a Haloti Ngata, a Terrell Suggs, a Lardarius Webb, AND a Payton Manning, an Adrian Peterson, a Calvin Johnson, a Rob Gronkowski, etc. As a team, the Ravens are decisively committed to excellence on the defensive side of the football. I don't know what the cap numbers are for the Ravens, but it would surprise me if more than 50% of the Ravens cap space is not committed to the defense. So if you want to spend big on offense, you're going to take away from that. What level of QB performance is worth not being able to keep Suggs? Webb? Ngata? Forget Reed and Lewis, they're going to be out of here relatively soon anyway, but as a fan base I doubt we accept Joe Schmoes as their replacements. Giving Flacco (or Rice, for that matter) a big deal won't affect that right now, but in a year or two? I'm no cap expert, but I think it would. So you're willing to take that risk, after what you saw out of Flacco last year?

Not me...
I see what youre saying. I personally think last year was an aberration and i believe the previous two years suggest that. I think what we did as an offense and him in particular did with basically an entirely rookie corps outside Boldin was impressive, not a disappointment. I dont think overly investing on either side of the ball is the best thing for the team, which is in part why we didnt win as much as we should have with a top defense all those years. the team that wins it all usually is a well rounded team and those teams that arent seem to be getting exposed in the playoffs (GB NE SF NO etc). right now we have the majority of our money in defense and the league is obviously going to an offensive league. I do think Joe has shown enough to warrant that investment as finding his replacement wouldnt be easy. as a fan i dont ever want to lose that elite defensive mentality, but its certainly something that could be sacrificed somewhat in the future to get the best overall team. I think theyre going to spend that money on flacco regardless and need to because he is the key piece to it. if anything since his stats went down this past year it gives the team more leverage, as opposed to letting him play and coming off a better year. They know what he is, and with all the variables to last year i think its smart they sign him now because i do believe he will have a better year statistically just based on the growth of our young players. which you may be hopeful for but obviously dont believe he will.