Joe Flacco's Super Bowl victory earned him the richest contract for a quarterback in NFL history. However, that doesn't mean he's the best quarterback in the game today. Flacco signed a six-year, $120.6 million deal last week after leading the Baltimore Ravens to their second Super Bowl championship. He chose to play out his five-year rookie contract rather than renegotiate prior to the start of last season. The gamble paid off, launching him to the top of the money list at the quarterback position.
Although Flacco has surpassed the future earnings of every quarterback in the league, some still question where he measures up as a player. With a Super Bowl title under his belt, the discussion has already begun regarding where in the top five quarterbacks does he belong.
Let's take a look at the resumes of those quarterbacks in order of how much they will earn in base salary for 2013:
Joe Flacco, Baltimore
Flacco has already established records for road playoff wins (six) and is the only quarterback to win playoff games in his first five seasons. But this season was the first time he managed to get the Ravens to the Super Bowl in five attempts. Of course, they won, and he shined in January and February.
Peyton Manning, Denver
He's the league's only four-time MVP which makes his $20 million base salary quite fitting. After being sidelined for the 2011 season because of neck surgeries, he relocated from Indianapolis to Denver and almost won the MVP award again.
Eli Manning, New York Giants
Although he's had some inconsistent regular-season performances, his showings in the 2007 and 2011 postseasons more than made up for that. He will earn $13 million in base salary, and his salary cap hit, including signing bonus, tops the NFL at $20.85 million.
Philip Rivers, San Diego
The Chargers owe him $12 million in salary this year. However, he has no Super Bowl titles to his credit. But, to be fair, Rivers has witnessed the talent base around him diminished by free agency, trades, injuries and bad management decisions.
Tony Romo, Dallas
In spite of Romo's inability to produce in big games, regular season or postseason, he will earn an $11.5 million salary this year (plus another 5.3 million against the salary cap). Many pro football fans and analysts find this ridiculous.