Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Flacco was MVP of Super Bowl XLVII in Baltimore's 34-31 victory over San Francisco.
Joe Flacco got his Super Bowl ring and the dollar signs are flying everywhere.
With Flacco expected to meet with the Baltimore Ravens this week (per Chris Wesseling of NFL.com), there is a great chance he will land a long-term deal with the Ravens if he avoids the franchise tag.
Assuming Flacco does land a contract close to the $10 million range each year, will he live up to the standard?
Looking at the previous Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, would you put Joe Flacco in the same group as Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady?
Excluding the regular-season finale against Cincinnati, during the 2012 season, Flacco failed to break a 55 quarterback rating in eight different contests and didn't throw for over 200 yards in five games.
The 9-4 playoff record Flacco has established is certainly impressive, but if Rahim Moore doesn't embarrassingly blow the coverage at the end of regulation in the AFC Divisional Game, what kind of conversation is the sports world having about him?
Didn't Mark Sanchez land a huge contract just one year after leading the New York Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship appearances? Now what is the general perception of him?
Looking at the Baltimore defense going forward, Ray Lewis has retired and the clock is ticking on Ed Reed. This is defense that ranked in the bottom half of the NFL last season against the run and pass.
There's no doubt the Super Bowl MVP can win the big game. However, with Flacco moving into the position of the Ravens being his team, can he put Baltimore on his back when the running game isn't going well and get it done?
Bottom line, Flacco deserves a solid payday, but not the one that his agent suggests for him to be the highest paid quarterback in the NFL (via Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun).
The "elite" conversation is over, but it's not dead to me. The consistency and sample size that Flacco has provided in his five years isn't enough to warrant the figures of Peyton Manning or Drew Brees.
This will be an ongoing rivalry between the Flacco believers and the Flacco critics.