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Why the Miami Dolphins Just Made the Ravens Look Really Smart

In the wake of today's announced contract extension of fourth-year Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco's name (and contract) were bound to be brought up. However, is Flacco's deal really that different from Tannehill's?

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One is a Super Bowl MVP, ROY, All-time team leader in Wins, Passing Touchdowns, Pass Attempts, Pass Completions and Passing Yards, and the only quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons, this all amongst many other accolades and achievements.

The other has led his team to a 23-25 record in his first three seasons, with 65 TDs and 42 INT.

Obviously, you Ravens readers know that the first name is Joe Flacco. The second name is Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill. Now, what if I told you that the difference in their contracts is less than $1 million per year. Yep, that's right, an elite Super Bowl MVP-winning QB is being paid almost the same as a fourth-year QB who hasn't even seen playoff action yet.

Today the Dolphins announced the extension of Tannehill, who gave Dolphins fans hope that they had their first franchise QB since Dan Marino, as Tannehill set career highs in seven different statistical categories last season. However, the ink had hardly dried on the contract before Dolphins fans were singing praises of how the team didn't have to shell out 'Flacco money' on the deal. But the truth is, they didAccording to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the deal equates to $19.25 million per year in new money average. While Flacco's deal is only slightly higher, at a $20.1 million average.

Now comparing Flacco to Tannehill may be slightly unfair. It's pretty easy to say that Flacco had a better supporting cast than Tannehill during his first years. Flacco also had a better coaching staff and more stability. But the point is pretty simple, Flacco had done a lot more when he signed his extension than Tannehill did.

While we're at it, let's look at Flacco's contract compared to some other QBs and try to dispel the nonsense surrounding his deal.

courtesy of

(courtesy of

This is a table of all the contracts of 'veteran' QBs, or the ones that have signed a second contract after thier rookie deals. A few things worth noting here:

  • Look at the second column to the left, Flacco isn't really paid that much more on average per year than a lot of the 'second' or 'third tier' QBs.
  • Flacco is only paid $4.1 million more per year than Andy Dalton, aka the guy who the 'Dalton Line' is named after. He's the defining line of being a good or bad QB.
  • Look at the 'guaranteed' column. Flacco's guaranteed money is a lot less than some of the guys listed. Smart move by the Ravens front office.

My point is that once again, the Ravens front office made a smart move, and today's Tannehill signing proved just that. But don't tell the mainstream media, or any fans that. Here in Baltimore, we fly under the radar, and prove folks wrong. But that's how we like it.