Baltimore Ravens: What does Cam Newton’s Contract Mean for Joe Flacco?


The Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton have agreed to a five-year, $103.8 million deal with $60 million in guaranteed money. He will earn $67.6 million over the first three years of the deal which is the highest payout over three years in league history.

The deal put Newton in some exclusive company, making him the sixth quarterback to hit the $20 million mark in terms of average money per year.

Some are scrutinizing whether Newton is deserving of the deal. Newton will make more than Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Tannehill and Andy Dalton, whom all recently signed extensions with their respective teams. Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck are two other young signal callers who are also due for a large pay day soon.

The focus is much different in Baltimore because today’s deal has a significant impact at home as well. The Baltimore Ravens are wondering what this deal means for them when it is time to restructure Joe Flacco’s contract next offseason.

Mike Sando of ranked Flacco’s contract as the top in the NFL. If you are looking at it in terms of the quarterback’s perspective, it is the perfect contract. Flacco officially signed a six-year, $120 million contract with the Ravens in 2013, but in reality, the deal was a three-year, $62 million agreement knowing that the contract had to be restructured after three years. The contract was a record high for quarterbacks at the time, and he might hit the jackpot again.

The numbers are not going to back him up, as the number 12 was frequently associated with Flacco in the 2014 season. He finished 3,986 yards and 30 touchdowns, which both were good for 12th in the league. He also threw 12 interceptions last season, tying him with the same amount of interceptions as rookies Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr.

He has never been one to put up stellar numbers like Brees or Rodgers do. The Ravens are known for their running game that complements Flacco’s deep ball. The best receiver he has worked with is Anquan Boldin whose youth had passed by the time he came to Baltimore. 

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What Flacco is going to point to is the fact that he still won games. There was the Ray Rice fiasco. The Ravens did not know who their running back was going to be until several weeks into the season. He was working with his third offensive coordinators in as many seasons. His favorite target, Dennis Pitta, went down early in the season. The entire team battled a rash of injuries. That did not stop Flacco from getting enough from his offense to get the team back to the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.

The Ravens beat the rivaled Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening round of the playoffs. They had two 14-point leads against the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional Playoff game. Flacco threw up one terrible ball that was picked off late in the game, but his defense let him down twice giving up those leads. He had his team in prime position to win the game more than once.

What has Newton done for Carolina? Sure, he won a playoff game last season, but his team won seven games in the regular season. He has only had one winning season in four professional seasons and his passing yard totals have regressed in each season. Flacco’s agent is going to bring all this up when he is negotiating his new deal.

The young group of quarterbacks are in line for their first pay day, but Flacco is about to get his second. Wilson is the only one of the young guns who has proven anything in the NFL, and that is why Flacco is seeing dollar signs. What happens if Flacco wins another Super Bowl this season? His value skyrockets even more.

Will he take a pay cut to help the team win like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady recently have? Probably not. He has done no wrong while being in Baltimore and is still young enough to get one more big contract. That scenario isn’t likely for probably another five years.

John Harbaugh has been adamant that his quarterback is an elite one, and Flacco has been paid like one over the past three seasons. That doesn’t figure to change next summer when the Ravens are forced to restructure his deal. The front office knew it was going to have to pay their franchise quarterback once again. What they probably did not think was that they might have to pay him over $20 million per year over the course of a decade.

Joe Flacco thanks you Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.

Next: Is Joe Flacco Elite?

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