Joe Flacco has been one of the most criticized players since his entrance into the NFL. Then in his final year of his rookie contract, he led the Ravens to their second Super Bowl title while throwing for eleven touchdowns and zero interceptions, tying Joe Montana’s record for most touchdowns without an interception in the postseason.
He was then rewarded with a six-year, $120 million. After receiving that contract, Flacco was put under a microscope and every bad throw or play he made was scrutinized. The questions regarding if he always played up to his contract would continually be asked. Of course every single year, at least once, the media asks, “Is Joe Flacco Elite?”.
This article is not to argue that point, but to show how valuable Joe Flacco has been to the Baltimore Ravens franchise throughout his tenure there. Joe Flacco has yet to miss a game as a Raven, and that cannot be understated.
We have seen Ravens teams decimated by injuries, as is the way of football and the NFL. But one man has stayed healthy minus an ankle injury in the 2013-2014 campaign, which caused him to miss one quarter of the loss to the Patriots that season. Last season, the Ravens had to put five cornerbacks on injured reserve; and with a makeshift secondary led the current defending Super Bowl champions by fourteen points twice in the AFC Divisional Playoff game.
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This season has been one of the worst, if not the worst, in franchise history for the Baltimore Ravens; yet Joe Flacco’s value still is evident even in the midst of a poor season. With as much criticism as Flacco receives, he is doing the most he can with the receiving corps that he has. With Steve Smith out this past week and looking likely to sit this week as well, his targets will be either rookies or undrafted free agents (besides an unhealthy Crockett Gillmore). Starting left tackle Eugene Monroe also went down for three games, leaving Joe Flacco’s blindside in the hands of undrafted second year player James Hurst.
However, despite all of those factors, Joe has done very well. He is on pace for his first 4,000-yard season of his career.
I don’t have the answer as to if Joe Flacco is elite or not, but I do know how valuable he is to the Baltimore Ravens as a franchise.
He has a very sizable cap hit this upcoming season, and there will be some intense negotiating done between Joe Flacco’s agent, Joe Linta and the Ravens front office to try to keep Joe in purple and black for the rest of his career, but at a reasonable price for both sides.
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