It's officially time to stop calling Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco the most overpaid quarterback in the NFL. That title now goes to the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick, who signed a six-year extension worth $110 million on Wednesday.
The Ravens have been criticized for giving Flacco $51 million guaranteed when he's never thrown for 4,000 yards in a season. Well, the 49ers just gave Kaepernick $61 million, and he's never thrown for more than 3,200 yards despite having better receivers than Flacco.
At least when the Ravens broke out the checkbook, Flacco had won 54 regular-season games. He had just become the first starting quarterback in NFL history to make the playoffs in each of his first five seasons. There was also the caveat of Flacco not only winning the Super Bowl, but winning the Most Valuable Player award.
Kaepernick is averaging $18 million per season after winning a grand total of 17 regular-season games. Based on that, you could argue that the Ravens got Flacco at a bargain.
The reality of the situation is quarterbacks are going to be overpaid. If you find a solid one, you're going to pay a steep price to keep him. Let's not forget that Tony Romo and Jay Cutler received more than $50 million guaranteed. Unlike Flacco and Kaepernick, those quarterbacks haven't led their teams to a conference championship game, much less a Super Bowl.
It's amazing how contracts escalate in the NFL, especially for quarterbacks. In a matter of 15 months, Flacco has gone from signing an NFL record deal to ranking No. 8 in guaranteed money.
Flacco's contract will further be diminished over the next couple of years when the likes of Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson are eligible to sign extensions. The Ravens won't have to revisit Flacco's contract until 2016, when his salary-cap number leaps to $28.5 million.
Sure, Flacco certainly wasn't worth the money last season, when he threw a career worst 22 interceptions and failed to lead the Ravens to the playoffs for the first time in his career. But, when you look at what quarterbacks are being paid these days, the Ravens were only paying market value for Flacco last year.