Is Joe Flacco elite?
It is a joke around NFL circles that never seems to go away. Though the question has viable answers from both sides, the question itself does not address the root of the problem that the Baltimore Ravens face in the coming off-season.
Flacco may be elite, he may be average—I tend to lean towards the cop-out answer of ‘above average’—but the question isn’t whether he belongs on Mount Rushmore, it is whether his value above the average quarterback is easily replaceable by the Ravens.
The answer is an emphatic no.
An elite quarterback is not always necessary to win the Super Bowl, and though the Ravens have yet to reach the pinnacle of NFL success under Flacco’s tutelage, they have come a lot closer than most teams in the league. If Trent Dilfer can win a Super Bowl, so can Flacco. If Brad Johnson can win a Super Bowl, so can Flacco.
Having won a playoff game every season of his career, and having made the AFC championship game for the third time, it would be in the Ravens best interest to lock up Joe Flacco to a sizable contract.
I understand the argument that Flacco is not the sole reason that the Ravens have had post-season success, but even if his above-average play is only sporadic, he is still getting the job done.
When the season ends for the Ravens, whether it be with a Super Bowl victory or a loss this Sunday, the Ravens can’t really afford to lose Flacco without a viable attempt at getting a contract.
The Ravens and their fans need to realize that elite quarterbacks don’t just grow on trees, and with the measure of success that Flacco has enjoyed over his short tenure with the Ravens, I think the Ravens will be hard-pressed to find a better solution than the above-average Flacco.