As ESPN's Adam Schefter said, the Joe Flacco deal average over the six years may be the highest in NFL history, but there may still be more lucrative deals, based on how the terms of the deal may be. The average per year will be high, but it will more than likely be back-loaded after a huge signing bonus.
That would mean that his first year salary would be relatively lower, with the years amount bigger as the contract progresses year-by-year. There should be enough salary cap relief as compared to the average and especially the Franchise Tag, that the team will be able to re-sign their own free agents that they want to retain.
SB Nation looked at the trending salaries of guys under contract as well as the guys who could easily pass Flacco once their renewal time comes along during his six years.
Guys like Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and ultimately, Matt Stafford, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and yes, even Ben Roethlisberger, are glad to see this contract get done, as it will only set the bar higher for them when their turns ultimately come up.
As Schefter also surmised, the salary cap could rise as a direct result of Flacco's deal, since it is based on the total combined salaries of all NFL players in their complicated formula.
SportsIllustrated.com also has their take on the deal, including the ridiculous notations of Peter King, who suggested that Joe would end up in Cleveland.
"Joe is worth this deal because he did it when it mattered."