$100 Million Men
We all know how important a quarterback is to a teams success. They the on-field commander (for the offense) who always have the ball in their hands. In today's NFL, a QB has become a much needed necessity for teams to reach the top of the NFL world. And for that reason we have seen some very lucrative contracts in the last few years that have been thrown at QBs. Some have deserved it but I'm starting to question how many actually deserve to be $100 million dollar men.
As you can see, playing QB in the NFL will get you the big bucks, even if you don't win a championship. 4 of the 7 QBs that have $100 million contracts have 0 titles on their resume, which I have a big problem with. Professional athletes already make too much, so if I'm paying someone $100 million, I need trophies and banners up in my stadium. For example, Tony Romo who has only 1 playoff win under his belt, received his mega deal last season at the age of 33. To me those two numbers, 2 & 33, are double whammies. Statistically, you can make an argument that Romo deserves that deal but once again those stats aren't putting banners up in the billion dollar AT&T Stadium. And we can't forget his ineffectiveness in the clutch. I always say that Romo makes the worst possible play and the worst time, that pretty much describes his career.
Matt Ryan is another player who I think is being overpaid. Some people claim Matt Ryan. aka Matty Ice, as the new Peyton Manning because of his abilities to call plays at the line of scrimmage. I think Matt Ryan is a beneficiary of media hype. I strongly believe the media influence how teams treat contract situations because the media was the only ones praising Matt Ryan as the next Peyton Manning. When you really break down Matty Ice, $100 million doesn't match.
Statistically, like Romo, Matty Ice has been top notch, 23,472 yards and 153 TDs during his 6 year career. He also has 23 game winning drives with a record of 60-34. Looking at those numbers, you would definitely think about giving him the big contract. Now lets look at the 2nd season, aka the playoffs. In 5 games, Matt Ryan is 1-4 with a QB rating of 85.2, 9 TDs and 7 INTs. In 2012, he took his team into the Meadowlands to play the Giants and the offense could only muster 2 points. Twice, the Falcons have been the #1 seed and twice they have been eliminated on their own field. That ain't balling.
I'm not saying Matty Ice isn't a good QB but I credit much of his success to the weapons he has around him. A HOF tight end in Tony Gonzalez and two big time receivers in Roddy White and Julio Jones. To get $100 million from me, I need that same production in the postseason. To me that is where you truly earn your money, not to say your regular season numbers don't hold weight but once again, those numbers don't put banners up.
Then you have players like Joe Flacco, who has been compared to Matty Ice since the both entered the league in 2008. Now Flacco numbers doesn't compare to Matty Ice's in the regular season, only 21,545 yards and 121 TDs but he do have a better record, 62-34 for his career. In Flacco's defense though, he has never had the same weapons Ryan had throughout his career and Flacco plays in more of a balance offense while Ryan is in a wide open air attack. Flacoo also never had the freedom that Ryan has to call his own plays, which has been debated whether or not Flacco should get that freedom.
The one thing Flacco does better than Matty Ice is performing in the postseason. After the 2013 postseason, Flacco EARNED his $100 million contract. He outplayed the 2 best QBs in our generation, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, and went through the postseason with 11 TDs and 0 INTs. Flacco has played in 13 postseason games in his career and has a record of 9-4, with 2 game winning drives. And to make things better he did it in his contract year.
Colin Kaepernick is the most recent inductee of the "$100 million club" but his contract doesn't seem as lucrative when you look at it. Kap will get $12.9 million up front while receiving $2.1 million per season. Now this contract is strictly based on his year-by-year performance, which I think is smart on the Niners part. The Niners can also get out the deal after the 1st season despite the $61 million guaranteed. Even though Kap has made 2 back-to-back trips to the NFC Conference championship, I can't say he deserves a $100 million contract. Cam Newton has gone on record saying he is not a fan of Kap's deal because of the year-by-year performance base of it. With other young QBs to still waiting for their big contract, this tactic could be detrimental to their financial future.
The two QB's that come to mind as the next $100 million men are Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck. Wilson will receive a big deal because he is a Super Bowl winner and Luck will see it because he, like Ryan, will be a beneficiary of the media hype. Luck right now is still playing thorough his rookie contract that is worth $22.1 million through 2016, all of which is guaranteed. With Kap receiving his deal and Luck putting up better numbers, this could only mean a huge deal is on the horizon for Luck. I'm estimating at least $18 million/year for Luck which could go higher if he wins a Super Bowl before that time.
As for Russell, he doesn't have the numbers like Luck, but he has the wins and title. Alot of the Seahawks success can be credited to Mr. Wilson and you can also give him credit to showing that mobile QBs can win a title. What's crazy is Russell Wilson current contract, 4-year $3 million with $2.9 million guaranteed, is ranked 52nd among NFL QBs. Despite being the starter, he is the third highest paid QB on his own team, Tarvaris Jackson and Terrelle Pryor making more than him. Russell will become a free agent in 2016 but I think the Seahawks will offer him a deal before then. Unlike Luck, I think Russell contract will be based on wins instead of performance, like Flacco. if I had to put a number on it, I would say he to will be in the $17-$18 million range.
With other future stars like Cam Newton and RG3 also awaiting their big pay day, we will be seeing more $100 million contracts. I understand the notion that you need a franchise QB to win a title but also remember you need a good defense too. Each franchise QB that has won the Super Bowl has also had a great defense to back them up. So before you go throwing out the big bucks make sure everything else is together.