Just because Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco will become the highest paid player in NFL history, does that mean he has to perform like the best ever? He pretty much played the best of any QB in post-season history, with his four game run that included eleven TD passes with no interceptions, culminating in a Super Bowl victory and MVP trophy.
However, what type of performance does Flacco need to have, not only this coming year but over the term of the contract, to make the team, much less its fans, satisfied that is was money well spent? Does he need to return to the Super Bowl and win it each year, because if that's what you are expecting, you're setting yourself up for a massive disappointment?
Only eight times of the 47 Super Bowl champions have there been a repeat champion, with the most recent being the 2004-05 New England Patriots. You have to go back 15 years (1998-99) to find the next team to win two Lombardi Trophies in a row.
With the salary cap and free agency, repeating is a tall task and the Ravens are not one of the top five teams in betting odds to win Super Bowl 48 next year at The New Meadowlands in New Jersey.
So, other than a Super Bowl victory, what does Joe need to show you in order to "earn" his contract? Does he need to lead this team back to the post season year-after-year as he has done all five years of his NFL career? Is this good enough for your, regardless of his numbers?
Or does he need to cross the 4,000 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes, both of which he has not reached in any of his first five seasons?
Are the numbers really important, given the huge stats that have been put up by other quarterbacks that have not won Super Bowls or even made the playoffs, much less win a playoff game?
If Flacco has another mediocre regular season, which he did statistically in the 2012 regular season, makes the playoffs but is one and done, will that sit well enough for you?
What about a great season with 4,000+ yards and 30+ TD passes, but 15 interceptions and no post season?
Flacco should be the poster child for proving the point that the numbers in the regular season are not anywhere near as important as making the post season. Once a team gets to the playoffs, anything can happen and Ravens fans know all too well that you just do not need to throw the ball all over the field game-after-game in order to win the Big Game.
However, Flacco did just that in the playoffs and without a doubt, carried the Ravens to the trophy podium on his throwing shoulder.
When the dust settles after the 2013 regular season, if the Ravens continue their streak and return to the post season, Ravens fans will have to be satisfied with his performance. What happens once the playoffs begin will renew the debate, but if Flacco comes anywhere close to replicating his post season performance in the 2013 regular season, Ravens fans will have to keep their weekends open deep into January and perhaps even February of next year.