"Is Joe Flacco elite?" has become such a meme it's spawned t-shirts and even been put on beer cans.
Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson gave his answer to the matter Wednesday: Yes, Flacco is indeed "elite."
"Joe has gone on and obviously become one of the elite quarterbacks in the league," Jackson said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters.
Jackson cited Flacco's past Super Bowl victory as the reason he has "status in the league."
Of course, the numbers don't give much credence to Flacco being much more than an average NFL starter. He's posted a quarterback rating above 90 just twice in his career and has thrown for 4,000 yards once. Aside from some anomalous blips of spectacular or below-average player, Flacco has had a fine career—not bad, not elite, perfectly fine.
The Ravens are paying him as the best quarterback in football at the moment; his $24.5 million cap hit is the highest of any player, per Spotrac. But there are new quarterback contracts that dwarf Flacco's in terms of scale and guaranteed money. Flacco ranks 26th in the NFL in guaranteed salary and is 11th among all quarterbacks.
The once-maligned contract Flacco signed with Baltimore now looks fine all things considered. That said, Flacco threw for 121 yards last week, so he's not at the peak of his powers heading into this weekend.