Aaron-Rodgers-fist2

Eventually, the world will run out of money because quarterbacks are taking it all. At that point we’ll return to the barter system for all former monetary transactions. We’ll also become savages again as we’re forced to trade rare meats for goods and services. Canadians have an advantage, as hunting beaver is a natural instinct.

There is no standard for quarterback contracts anymore. That definition is nearly in a constant state of change, with more zeroes added every offseason. Joe Flacco, for example, just robbed the Ravens of their dollars by taking advantage of the recency effect. Or, in more lay terms, the “what have you done for me lately? Oh yeah you won the Super Bowl so here’s all the money have a nice day” effect. Flacco is a great quarterback, but he doesn’t belong in the upper echelon of the league alongside names like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning. Yet when he signed his new contract that pays him $20.1 million annually — a league high — he joined those guys, at least on financial terms.

The question I asked at the time is one pondered by many: if Flacco is worthy of a record-setting figure, then surely Aaron Rodgers will rob every bank everywhere once he agrees to his extension, right?

We’re about to get our answer.

The Scheft did some Schefting this morning (yeah, I just made up a verb…what of it?), and told us that the Packers are inching ever so close to a contract extension with their quarterback that will make him the highest-paid player in NFL history. While anyone associated with the Packers — fans, coaches, janitors — will be elated upon hearing this wondrous news, there’s a long-term problem beginning to brew more broadly for the league, and we can blame Flacco. At what point will these quarterback contracts swallow a team whole, and result in a QB hitting the open market in his prime because Team X simply can’t afford the yearly price tag?

I won’t dive too deep into the statistical gap between Rodgers and Flacco, because I’ve already done that with a lot of numbers and dollar signs. And also, it should be commonly accepted that Rodgers >>>>>> Flacco. But here’s a few:

  • An age gap isn’t a factor, because it pretty much doesn’t exist (Rodgers is 29, and Flacco is 28).
  • Over the past four seasons, Rodgers’ lowest passer rating is 101.2. Flacco is only a year removed from finishing at a very pedestrian 80.9.
  • Over the past two seasons, Rodgers’ lowest completion percentage is 67.2. Flacco? 57.6.

If we’re paying according to what a quarterback has done lately, then Rodgers has done a lot more, and he’s done it lately. That’s why he won’t just edge above the mark set by Flacco, he’ll likely crush it, and be paid something in the vicinity of $23 million annually. Then what happens when Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, and Matthew Stafford approach their respective front offices with their hands buckets held (they’re all due for extensions soon too)?

Even if they’re graciously realistic and aware that they don’t deserve Rodgers money, they’ll want to land somewhere in the vast distance between Rodgers and Flacco. That means in the very near future, up to six teams could be paying a quarterback somewhere around $20 million a year. Eventually, some brave and noble general manager will be forced to stop this madness.