We are only 8 days in to the 2013 NFL free agency period, but Baltimore Raven fans have to be asking themselves “is Joe Flacco worth the money?” Being the reigning Super Bowl champs always has a toll come free agency. Every free agent tends to ride that Super Bowl wave into a big money deal. You can’t blame some of them, but as a team don’t you want to win more than one Super Bowl?
Joe Flacco’s massive 6 year $120.6 million contract may hurt the Ravens in the long run. So far during this off season, the Ravens have lost Ed Reed, Paul Kruger, Dannelle Ellerbe, Cary Williams and Anquan Boldin. The team also released safety Bernard Pollard. Key cogs of the Super Bowl winning team, including Ma’ake Kemoeatu Bryant McKinnie have still yet to be brought back, not to mention McKinnie started every game in the playoffs including the Super Bowl.
What will the 2013 defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens even look like? As of now the starting wide receivers are Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones. No offense to Jones, but he is not a #2 receiver nor is Torrey Smith a #1. While Dennis Pitta is back on a one year deal, I don’t believe he is a #1 or #2 option like a Rob Gronkowski or Tony Gonzalez.
Defensively this team will be completely different. Yes Ngata will be back along with Terrence Cody and Ladarius Webb. They did sign Chris Canty and Marcus Spears to shore up the defensive line, but the draft is where the team will hope to replace the losses of Ellerbe, Ray Lewis, Reed, Williams and Kruger.
With all these changes I have frequently asked, was Flacco really worth his contract? Was Flacco the main reason the team won the Super Bowl? Honestly, and I have said this all along, no! Sure he is young and wants to get paid, but why not be smart and take less money. What is a 6 year $84 million deal? Can/will Flacco really spend that much money? Eli Manning realizes how much his contract could potentially hinder his team’s chances in 2013 if they lose Victor Cruz. Manning has even offered to restructure his contract in order to help re-sign Cruz.
All in all, Joe Flacco is going to hurt the Baltimore franchise much more than he will help it in the foreseeable future. The team has lost many key players to free agency and will have a rough time replacing two future hall of famers (Reed and Lewis). With a much lesser defense in 2013, I believe the Ravens will struggle to hit 8-8 and like many past Super Bowl champs will miss the playoffs entirely.