The Baltimore Ravens obviously felt quarterback Joe Flacco was worth a six-year, $120.6 million contract, which made him the highest-paid player in NFL history. A majority of the football world does not feel the same way, or at least the part that voted in this week's SportsNation poll.
Of the 33,899 votes, 83 percent say Flacco didn't deserve the record-setting contract. Flacco's deal surpassed the five-year, $100 million contract signed by Drew Brees eight months ago.
Here are some selected comments from the AFC North mailbag:
Vince from Mount Airy, Md.: A majority of the comments I have read via many sources regarding Flacco's new deal indicate along the lines that the Ravens are overpaying. These comments are based on the mindset that this contract is reward, which obviously cannot be denied. However, is it not feasible to consider this contract more of an investment?
Robbie from Charlotte, N.C.: Lucky-throw Joe does not deserve this historic contract. His receivers (and bad Bronco Defense) are the ones he should be thanking. He never would have escaped Denver if "tweedle dumb" would have timed his jump better. #fail
Scott from College Park, Md.: Is Joe Flacco the best player in the NFL? No. But he signed his deal at the perfect time, coming off of a historic postseason. He didn't sign his contract the same time as Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning, so comparing the deals makes little sense. The Ravens had to lock up their franchise QB, period, and it was a deal that should make both sides happy.
Jake from Altoona, Pa.: Flacco has done some amazing things since coming into the league, getting into the playoffs and winning at least one game his first five years. That's impressive since no other QB has done that before. Unfortunately, the first few years he rode the coat tails of the defense. Recently, he became a QB worth a high-end contract, but not one to be the highest paid. He's gonna be a good QB for the rest of his career, but I don't see him earning another title short of Ray Lewis re-retiring.
Josh from Pittsburgh: Flacco being the highest-paid player seems to be a massive mistake. Is he the top player? No. Top QB? No. Is he even the top QB in the AFC North? No. But as a Steelers fan I couldn't be happier. Thank you Ozzie.
Scott from Mount Joy, Pa.: There is no way that Flacco deserves anywhere near the money that he received. More often than not over the course of his career, the Ravens have won in spite of his less-than-stellar numbers. There were even questions about his effectiveness during most of the second half of the 2012 regular season. The Ravens will be regretting this decisions in three years when they have to scramble to fix that very cap-unfriendly $29 million figure.
Denny from Fajardo, Puerto Rico: Based on what Flacco had been doing, not counting the playoffs, the Ravens might have jumped the gun. Anyway it is too earlly to tell. We'll have to see this September how he plays to see if he's worth the money.
Kevin from Chicago: Flacco was great in the playoffs, but can't forget that he had the two lowest QBR performances of the entire season last year. You don't pay a record contract to a guy who has the potential to go out on the field and play like the worst QB in the NFL.
Matt from Cincinnati: Flacco's team has won since he was a rookie, but look at his team and coach. Their defense/coach/runningback have all been elite since his rookie year. Just look at Doug Williams, he had a good playoff run (stat-wise) and never really did anything after.
Karen from Baltimore: Flacco does not deserve that contract and I'm a true Ravens fan. He's very inconsistent to be high-priced quarterback.
Andrew from Ellicott City, Md.: Flacco doesn't have the stats to be the highest paid QB ever, but he does have the wins, both regular season and playoff, and a Super Bowl ring. Would you rather have a QB with pretty statistics or a QB who gets you to the playoffs every year and a super bowl win(s).
Doug from Cincinnati: It was a great deal for Joe Flacco but not for the Ravens, that is unless they are draft savvy and figure out how to manage their cap space over the next six years. Flacco knew that with the rarity of finding even an average QB, that the Ravens wouldn't risk him signing elsewhere which would mean they would be forced to find another QB.
Kyle from Salt Lake City, Utah: Flacco is an enigma of ups and downs. Highlight material entwined with lowlight blunders. Just like rise and fall with stocks, buy low and sell high is now reversed.
Jason from Portland, Oregon: Yes, "Joe Flacco is the highest paid player in the NFL" sounds a little strange at first. However, if he wins another Super Bowl or two over the course of that six-year deal, nobody will think it sounds so silly then. I bet any owner out there would pay a QB $120M for two or three Super Bowl trophies.
Donald from Blairsville, Pa.: I did a double take when I got on the internet and saw the headline that Flacco was the NFL's highest paid player ever. As a Steeler fan, I was thrilled. It is about time the Ravens had to plunk down big money for a QB. That they overpaid for him is even better!
Kyle from Long Beach, Calif.: "Highest paid" and "the best" are not interchangeable terms. I believe Joe Flacco deserves every dollar, not because he is the best (he's not) but because of his overall value. He wins, he fits into the Ravens culture and he's respected in the locker room. You shouldn't pay players for individual statistics (just ask Philly how that worked for them), you should pay for wins and championships.
Dan from Los Angeles: What if I told you that you were going to draft a QB in the first round and that QB would win a playoff game every year for the first four years and never miss a start. Then in his fifth year, he was going to win the Super Bowl in a fashion only rivaled by Joe Montana. And then I told you after the Super Bowl win he was going to be the highest paid player in the league. You'd say, "That's about right."