Joe Flacco has absolutely every reason to be a very happy man right now. In fact, he actually has 66 million reasons to be enjoying life.
That's after the quarterback and the Baltimore Ravens managed to hammer out a new three-year contract extension for the Super Bowl-winning QB, which will see Flacco stay with the Ravens until 2022.
By that time, Flacco will be 37-years-old and coming to the end of his career in the National Football League. For now, however, he is the highest earning player in the entire league, surpassing Aaron Rodgers for the honorary title.
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According to a report from ESPN's Adam Caplan, the three-year agreement is worth a massive $66.4 million overall and includes a $40 million signing bonus, which is a new NFL record.
Coupled with the $58.6 million the Baltimore quarterback was due to earn over the next three years, that gives Flacco a grand total of $125 million over six years, an average of $20.8 million — higher than Flacco’s prior high-water mark of $20.1 million.
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And with $66.4 million in money that he wasn’t getting before, Flacco now sits at a very nice average of $22.13 million in new money, trumping the $22 million in new money that Rodgers received after his 2013 extension.
This allows the Ravens to keep their franchise quarterback under contract for the next six seasons and alleviates some restless nights in the future for general manager Ozzie Newsome.
If you think that Flacco is overpaid, which he may well be in the grand scheme of things, consider that Sam Bradford got $36 million from the Philadelphia Eagles, Kirk Cousins just got a near-$20 million franchise tag from Washington, and Ryan Tannehill is being paid around $19 million a season by the Dolphins.
Those three quarterbacks have played in a grand total of one playoff game combined during their respective careers. At least Flacco has a Super Bowl to boast among his trophy collection, to go along with nine other playoff game wins.
Such is the nature of the beast, Flacco's place at the mountain top of NFL contracts won't last for long. Drew Brees is due an extension sooner rather than later as the New Orleans Saints will try and restructure his $30 million cap hit. And don't forget that Andrew Luck still needs a contract - which is probably where all known records will be absolutely smashed out of the park.
In a world where Eli Manning apparently wanted to be the best paid player in the NFL, contracts for quarterbacks are spinning out of control, and Joe Flacco's is only the start.