When $100 million isn't $100 million

When $100 million isn't $100 million
July 6, 2013, 3:30 pm
Share This Post

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) reacts to his touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos of the AFC divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field.

(Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Everybody ooh’d and aah’d over Joe Flacco’s $120.6 million contract — well, probably not everybody; we can imagine there were more sounds of “oy” than anything else coming from the Ravens front office — but the fact is, Flacco is unlikely to ever collect into nine figures on his deal. Not that we need to be holding bake sales for the Flacco family, but NFL history shows that no one ever makes $100 million on contracts that reach nine figures.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger this season will become the first player to be paid more than $69 million — the high set by Donovan McNabb — on a $100 million or more contract, ESPN.com reports. That’s out of 16 contracts all-time of at least $100 million. By the end of the year, Roethlisberger will have made $76.5 million on his original eight-year, $102 million deal, which likely will be reworked before next season.

Again, nobody is being deprived here — though retired QB Daunte Culpepper, who once signed a $102 million contract, faces foreclosure on a Florida home — and just because a deal is reworked doesn’t mean a player isn’t going to end up making $100 million or more eventually, but this is just a reminder that NFL contracts aren’t guaranteed.

Even when the media report something like Flacco’s contract, it’s nearly a given that the player will never receive the full value of the announced agreement. In Flacco’s case, the cap numbers assigned to his deal soar to unwieldy figures by 2016. So the Ravens will need to rework his deal by then. Still, he’s reportedly getting more than $50 million in guaranteed money.

So cancel that bake sale.