Are there really 96 players in the NFL better than Joe Flacco? I don’t think so.
However, Flacco ranks No. 97 according to NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2015 voted on by players. Names 100 to 91 were revealed this week, and Flacco finished 97th, a significant drop from No. 58, where Flacco finished in 2014.
Ravens linebacker C. J. Mosley ranked ahead of Flacco at No. 94, after a superb rookie season that landed him in the Pro Bowl.
Flacco’s ranking doesn’t make much sense after he finished with career highs in touchdown passes (27) and throwing yards (3,986 yards), helping the Ravens reach the divisional round of the playoffs. Are there 96 players you would rather go to battle with in a playoff game than Flacco? If so, send me that list.
The debate on Flacco’s ranking among NFL quarterbacks never seems to die, and it won’t anytime soon. Part of that has to do with the six-year, $120.6 million contract Flacco signed after being the MVP of Super Bowl XLVII. Flacco’s salary cap number is set to nearly double after next season, from $14.55 million in 2015 to a whopping $28.55 million in 2016. The Ravens would like to restructure Flacco’s contract after next season to a more cap-friendly number. However, the better Flacco plays in 2015, the more leverage he will have in negotiations.
The Ravens helped Flacco in the draft with at least two weapons that should have an immediate impact – wide receiver Breshad Perriman, and tight end Maxx Williams. Running back Buck Allen could also be a rookie who earns regular time, and new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman is busy scheming various ways to utilize the Ravens’ talent.
Flacco doesn’t get caught up in the noise surrounding his contract, his ranking compared to other quarterbacks, or his image. Rarely will you find an athlete who appears to be more comfortable in his own skin.
However, you can believe Flacco is motivated to win another Super Bowl, and to put together his best season in 2015. Flacco may rank No. 97 in a players’ poll. But the most important player on the Ravens remains the guy wearing No. 5.