Pat Moriarty, the Man Under Immense Pressure for the Ravens
The current state of the National Football League is pass oriented. Now more than ever, teams are relying on passing offenses to move the ball and score. There are multiple reasons for this. NFL defenses are getting more physical, defensive linemen are much faster now than they were fifteen years ago.
Wide Receivers are taller and much more physical. Many elite quarterbacks are breaking passing records that have previously been untouchable. If you have a cornerstone quarterback to build your team around, your team will most likely be successful.
For twenty NFL teams, their quarterback situation is taken care of. They have an athlete who the organization, fans, and players can support with confidence. Those twenty teams (Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, Texans, Colts, Broncos, Chargers, Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, Bears, Lions, Packers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Buccaneers, 49ers, and the Seahawks) have a combined record of 191-128. An average record of 10-6.
Opposed to the record of the twelve without a consistent quarterback; 60-118. Or an average of 5-11. In fact, there was only one team out of those twelve that had a winning record, the Minnesota Vikings, (more on that in a future story) who finished 10-6.
If your team missed the playoffs, don’t worry there are always opportunities to improve your team for the upcoming year during the offseason. The offseason is where team personnel put in long hours. This is where scouts, coaches, managers, and owners all meet and put their knowledge to the test to bring in the best talent.
You better believe that quarterbacks are in high demand for twelve NFL teams. Unfortunately, this year has a relatively weak quarterback class compared to previous classes.
According to Scouts Inc.’s Top 32 draft prospect ratings, only two quarterbacks make the list. The highest rated quarterback is the dual threat Geno Smith out of West Virginia, and he is rated a 91 which puts him at spot twenty-three. The other quarterback is USC alum Matt Barkley who is rated an 88 and ranked at thirty-two.
How does this affect the future of the twelve teams? Well many of them will try to fill other glaring holes in their lineup with other positions. This draft is heavy with defensive linemen and offensive tackles, both of which are important for a team, however offensive tackles gain the edge here, especially if a team is looking to build a durable line before they draft a quarterback in a few years.
Every couple of years or so, there will be a quarterback who doesn’t resign with his team. Either he thinks he is worth more money than they are offering, or he is in some dispute with the personnel. This year, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is an unrestricted free agent.
An unrestricted free agent means that this offseason, any team can make an offer to him and the Ravens will have an opportunity to match it. This is extremely risky because some teams have much more cap room than others, meaning they can offer him more money up front and over the span of his contract.
Flacco, is playing in the final year of his three-year rookie contract which he signed in 2008 after being drafted 18th overall out of the University of Delaware.
The Ravens are hesitant about committing long-term to Flacco, since he hasn’t put up “elite” stats during his career. The term “elite” is very gray, since everyone has a different perception of what qualifies as elite. In my opinion, elite status consists of multiple 4,000+ yards and 35+ touchdown passes. Flacco’s career bests for passing yards are 3,817 in 2012 and 25 passing touchdowns in 2010.
He averages an 86.3 career quarterback rating, compared to league leader Aaron Rodgers who sustained an incredible rating of 108.
However, the Ravens would be stupid not to pay Joe Flacco big bucks. He currently holds the record for most passing yards in team history with 17,633, most touchdown passes in team history with 102. Along with most game winning drives with 14, and 10 of those 14 coming in the 4th quarter.
Joe Flacco also has the most wins out of any quarterback since 2008 (including postseason) with 61 games. Most of the teams looking for a quarterback haven’t even won 61 games in their past ten seasons combined.
It seems obvious to us, why haven’t the Ravens secured this young, rocket-armed, passer? This job belongs to Pat Moriarty. The Vice President of Football Administration for the Baltimore Ravens.
He overlooks player contracts, salary cap issues, and roster management. He has been monumental in all of the Ravens previous roster moves, including acquiring former Pro-Bowler wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Arizona Cardinals in 2010.
Whatever he ultimately decides to do, or not do, will affect the twelve teams gunning for a franchise slinger. Can you imagine the bidding war teams would have for Joe Flacco? Joe can, and this is why he hasn’t signed an extenstion yet. He wants money. Regardless of what happens, he’ll get paid very soon.
For now the Ravens are focusing on the playoffs, but you can be sure that NFL fans from all over, team owners, coaches, and general managers are all awaiting to see how Pat Moriarty approaches this situation. He could end up changing a franchise completely.