Joe Flacco may or may not be an elite NFL quarterback. It's a debate that has picked up in intensity as he has masterfully guided Baltimore through the playoffs and is going to erupt if the Ravens knock off the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday.
But the fact of the matter is that Flacco has put himself in the position to get paid like an elite quarterback.
ESPN's John Clayton says that the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent quarterback likely will seek an annual salary in the neighborhood of $20 million. That's Drew Brees money. And anything higher than that would make Flacco the highest-paid QB in the league, based on average annual salary.
And, Clayton added, Flacco is very likely to get at least that much. Maybe not right away -- Baltimore can slap the franchise tag on him, which would net him about $14.6 million next year. But the Ravens can't avoid paying him the elite money forever.