Skip to main content

Steve Bisciotti: Record Contract Doesn't Alter Expectations For Joe Flacco


So how did it feel to be the man signing the checks and giving quarterback Joe Flacco a record-breaking contract?

"It's evolution of the salary cap. It just is what it is," Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti said.

The Ravens gave Flacco a $120.6 million deal, topping those of the Saints' Drew Brees, Broncos' Peyton Manning and Patriots' Tom Brady. They paid Flacco that much in part because of the Super Bowl run he went on, tying Hall of Famer Joe Montana with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

But just because Flacco is atop the NFL's lofty contracts doesn't mean the Ravens' expectations for him have elevated in turn.

"Do we expect Joe to continue to play for the rest of his career like he did in those five games – counting the Giants game, when we needed a win to even qualify for the playoffs?" Bisciotti said. "That's absurd.

"Your expectation is that he's going to be a solid, top-10 quarterback and keep us where we want to be, and that's with a chance to get hot."

Bisciotti said his expectation of Flacco before last season was for him to improve by 10 percent. He did that, and more, especially in the playoffs. So Bisciotti wants more of the same.

"I want him to be 10 percent better this year, and that means the whole year," Bisciotti said. "But that doesn't mean that we're not going to throw a couple of stinkers out there. That's just the way the NFL works. You just can't look good 16 weeks, getting to the playoffs."

Fans and pundits have criticized Flacco for hitting rough patches and being inconsistent.

For example, he was 20-of-40 for 254 yards, two touchdowns and one interception (returned for a touchdown) against the Broncos in the regular season. In the playoffs – against the same team and on the road – Flacco was 18-of-34 for 331 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

While Flacco had six games with a quarterback rating over 100.0, he had four with a rating below 70.0 (not including the season finale in Cincinnati where he rested for most of the game).

But Bisciotti pointed to other top quarterbacks, including Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger, New York's Eli Manning and Brees as examples of how everybody can struggle at times.

Last year, Manning had four games with a quarterback rating below 70.0. Roethlisberger posted a rating of 58.6 in a critical Week 16 game against Cincinnati that ended the Steelers' playoff chances. Brees had a rating of 37.6 against the rival Falcons and four games at a 75.1 rating or below.

"Just go back and look at their worst games," he said. "Eli led the league in interceptions two years ago before he won the Super Bowl. So it's silly to all of the sudden change all of your expectations."

Bisciotti does envision Flacco gaining more confidence as a result of his Super Bowl performance, and that perhaps positively affecting his play.

"Do you think his confidence in himself and the experience of winning and the experience of dominating won't do a lot for his teammates and their confidence in him?" the owner asked. "Joe lives on confidence. That's one thing that I've gotten to know is that 100 people could tell him he's average, and he doesn't believe them. Then he proved them wrong."

Fans have wondered why the Ravens paid Flacco so much money when they traded one of his top weapons in wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

Bisciotti gave a simple answer.

"[We did it for] the same reason that Denver spent that money on a 37 year old [Peyton Manning]," he said. "Because without that, you don't have much of a chance."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content