Aaron Rodgers. Tom Brady. Eli and Peyton Manning. Drew Brees. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and his agent believe he's right there with the elite class of NFL quarterbacks.
The Ravens' Joe Flacco should believe he's the best QB in the NFL. But now that he's said it, Flacco needs to play like it, says ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley. Blog
Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, created a stir in February when he said Flacco should be considered a top-five quarterback based on wins and losses.
Flacco took it one step further Tuesday, telling WNST 1570 in Baltimore on Tuesday that he believes he's the "best" quarterback in the NFL.
"I assume everybody thinks they're a top-five quarterback," Flacco said when asked where he thinks he ranks among NFL quarterbacks. "I mean, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'm top five, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'd be very successful at my job if I didn't feel that way. I mean, c'mon? That's not really too tough of a question.
"That doesn't mean that things are going to work out that way. It just means that's the way it is -- that's the way I feel that it is and that's the way I feel it should be."
Brees, Rodgers and Eli Manning have won the last three Super Bowls, while Brady and Peyton Manning both own multiple NFL MVP awards.
Flacco's numbers dipped slightly in 2011, with his completion percentage, passing yards and touchdowns all taking a hit as he threw two more interceptions than he did in 2010. However, the Ravens were 12-4, won the AFC North and were a Lee Evans dropped pass away from representing the AFC in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants.
A first-round pick in 2008, Flacco has one year left on his rookie contract, but isn't concerned with what other quarterbacks make.
"It's not about the money. It's about what you feel you deserve," Flacco told WNST. "At the end of the day, they'll take care of it and I'll be waiting."
Still, Flacco said he wants to get a contract finished before the season starts.
"I hope that we both want to get something done before the beginning of the year because when the year comes and goes and I haven't been re-signed, then that's when things can start to get complicated," Flacco told WNST.
Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, a restricted agent, was given the Ravens' franchise tag earlier in the offseason and has yet to work out a long-term deal with the team. Flacco hopes to avoid the same situation.
"You don't want to get to the point where you play out your contract and you get to those complicated situations where they can put the franchise tag on you and things like that," Flacco said. "I don't really want it to get to that point just because of that. If we do, it's not going to be a distraction. It's just going to be what it is."