In March, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco created a stir when he became the highest-paid player in NFL history. Nearly five months later, he's not even the second-highest paid player in the league.
Here's how the highest-paid list stands now: Rodgers (an average of $22 million), Ryan ($20.75 million) and Flacco ($20.1 million).
Flacco had predicted his then-NFL record contract wouldn't last long.
"I’m sure in a couple of months from now, someone is going to sign a deal, and you guys are going to be talking to them about how they are the highest-paid guy in NFL history," Flacco said after signing his contract on March 4. "That’s just the name of the game. I know that this isn’t going to hold up for that long, but that’s not a priority of mine to be the highest-paid guy. The priority of mine was to get that respect that I felt, that I feel now from this organization.”
Flacco's deal was obviously the benchmark in the negotiations between Ryan and the Falcons. Ryan will receive $59 million guaranteed, which is $7 million more than Flacco. Ryan will also make $63 million in the first three years of the deal, which is $1 million more Flacco.
But should Ryan have gotten a better deal than Flacco? Since they were both drafted in the first round in 2008, Ryan has put up better statistics in the regular season, throwing for 18,957 yards with 127 touchdowns and 60 interceptions. Flacco has passed for 17,633 yards with 102 touchdowns and 56 interceptions.
Where Flacco trumps Ryan is in the postseason. Flacco has won a Super Bowl, and Ryan has won one playoff game. Flacco has a 9-4 record in the postseason and earned Super Bowl MVP honors last season. Ryan is 1-4 in the postseason.
Still, Flacco finds himself in elite company in terms of big-money contracts for quarterbacks. He is averaging more per season than Drew Brees ($20 million), Peyton Manning ($19.2 million) and Tony Romo ($18 million).