Prior to the 2012 season, Joe Flacco rejected a contract worth about $14 million per year. At the time, that contract seemed generous for a quarterback who had won five playoff games yet had never thrown more than 25 touchdowns in a season through four years.
But Flacco thought otherwise, so played out the final year of his rookie contract.
After a 9-2 start last year, the Ravens lost four of their last five regular-season games and backed into the playoffs at 10-6.
Then, Flacco put together a four-game postseason stretch in which he led the Ravens to a Super Bowl title, throwing for 11 touchdowns without an interception, while posting a passer rating of at least 106.2 in each game.
Following Super Bowl XLVII, Flacco cashed in with a six-year contract worth around $20 million annually. He may be only slightly more (or not) than an average NFL quarterback, but he took a gamble—and it paid off.
This week, Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers may be forced to put all his chips on the table to generate a pass rush against Flacco and the Ravens, as Green Bay will be without Clay Matthews for about a month.
Last season, with Matthews and Nick Perry out of the lineup nursing injuries, the Packers were forced to go with Erik Walden and Dezman Moses as their outside linebackers. This year, they’ll start Perry and Mike Neal in Matthews’ absence.