FIERRO: Philadelphia Eagles' head-scratching deal with Joe Flacco makes no sense
Joe Flacco? Seriously?
At $3.5 million? With a chance for that figure to grow by $4 million?
Let’s back up for a second here to catch our breath. The Eagles on Tuesday signed the former Super Bowl-winning quarterback to a one-year deal worth at least $3.5 million and as much as $7.5 million if all incentives are met, according to multiple reports.
Never mind that the 36-year-old South Jersey native and University of Delaware product made just $1.5 million with the New York Jets last season, when he was called on to start four games — all losses — and looked bad doing it. That’s the way he’s been for quite some time, too.
At one time, Flacco was a pretty darn-good player. He never made a Pro Bowl, but he did lead the Baltimore Ravens to 96 regular-season wins and 10 more in the playoffs over 11 seasons. That’s a solid résumé.
But at this stage of his career he’s a shaky choice at best as a backup to a presumed starter (Jalen Hurts) who can and will get injured because of his style of play.
To be fair, the teams Flacco has played on since the Ravens won the whole thing in the 2012 season have never been close to being as good.
Of course, a big part of the reason is because they devoted such a huge chunk of their salary cap to Flacco by signing him to a six-year, $120 million contract the following season. Since that moment, he’s been 44-51 in the regular season and 1-2 in the playoffs.
Even at his peak, his career was baffling. Despite having one of the league’s strongest arms, which he still does, Flacco’s career yards-per-attempt average is just 6.7. The most touchdown passes he’s thrown in a season has been 27.
Since his Super Bowl win, Flacco’s touchdown-to-interception ratio is 122-88.
Flacco has been in clear decline for the better part of the last decade.
Furthermore, he showed no inclination to mentor younger teammates like Lamar Jackson in Baltimore and Drew Lock in Denver.
Didn’t the Eagles learn their lesson about the dangers of elderly backups?
The question is rhetorical, of course, because obviously they haven’t. Not only did Josh McCown, who was 40 at the time, tear his hamstring pretty much clean off the bone during his only extended appearance with them in the 2019-20 playoff game against Seattle, but he was invited back to be their quarantine quarterback last year.
At least McCown embraced the role of mentoring Carson Wentz and Nate Sudfeld.
Still, Flacco’s signing might not be so bad had general manager Howie Roseman not panicked into an overpayment after being unable or unwilling to compete for the services of more viable options such as Jacoby Brissett, who received a one-year, $5 million contract from Miami, or Tyrod Taylor, who is getting a $5.5 base salary from Houston. Both of those quarterbacks have connections to the Eagles’ coaching staff.
And to be fair again, there aren’t any better veteran free-agent options out there at the moment, though there surely will be over the next few months.
The Eagles aren’t going to win the Super Bowl this coming season, so why overpay for a veteran 36-year-old backup who can’t get it done anymore anyway?
This one is a head-scratcher all the way.