After winning Super Bowl XLVII, being named Super Bowl MVP, and throwing 11 touchdowns to zero interceptions during the playoff run to get there, Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco was paid. Oh boy, was he paid.
At the time, it seemed to be the right thing to do. After leading the team to the playoffs every year of his career, eventually culminating in one of the best playoff performances by a QB of all time on the way to winning a Super Bowl, Joe Flacco deserved big bucks.
The Ravens were in a constant struggle to find a quarterback before drafting Flacco out of Delaware in 2008. In his first year, he led the team to the AFC Championship game, but fell just short to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
One of the Ravens’ checklist items this offseason is to add a young developmental backup quarterback if the opportunity presents itself.
But finding Joe Flacco’s eventual replacement? That’s not high on the list.
While saying you “can think about life after Joe,” Owner Steve Bisciotti made it clear during Friday’s State of the Ravens press conference that there won’t be a ton of focus on it.
“We’ve got bigger fish to fry, I guess,” Bisciotti said. “We’re a long way off to have to worry about Joe.”
Some pundits have wondered if Flacco’s health will become more of an issue moving forward.
A model of consistency and durability, Flacco started 137 straight games over his first eight seasons, which still ranks as the NFL’s sixth-longest streak of all-time for a quarterback.
The streak was broken in 2015 when he tore his ACL, then Flacco missed all of training camp and the preseason last year because of a herniated disc in his back.
Flacco turned 33 last month and is entering his 11th season, but Bisciotti still sees a lot of tread on the quarterback’s tires.
The Ravens and Flacco jumped on San Francisco early and often. Flacco’s three first-half touchdowns — which included a 56-yarder to Jacoby Jones — tied a Super Bowl record.
Despite Flacco’s heroics, some felt wide receiver-returner Jacoby Jones was more deserving of MVP honors. Jones set four Super Bowl records that night: most combined yards (290), longest play (108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown), longest kickoff return and longest kickoff return for a touchdown.
“They have to give it to one guy,” Flacco said after the game, “and I’m not going to complain that I got it.”