It's official. Joe Flacco is now the highest paid player in the NFL, but as he signed his new contract, he said it wasn't about the money.
Respect – that's what he said the contract negotiation was all about.
After leading the Baltimore Ravens to a win in Super Bowl 47 and being named the game's MVP, respect is something Flacco's proven he deserves.
Fans stood in their seats and roared as Flacco picked apart the 49ers secondary for nearly 200 passing yards in the first half of Super Bowl 47. Seats shook, and screams drowned out the game's play-by-play announcer .
The 28-year-old is the only quarterback to win a postseason game in each of his first five pro seasons.
In the end, the nine-figure contract is a deal Flacco says doesn't hurt the team. At a press conference Monday, Flacco said he feels confident work on his contract left wiggle room to retain the likes of Anquan Boldin and is "cap-friendly" for the team.
"I'll tell you what, Anquan was a beast in those four (playoff]) games. It was awesome to have him out there. You guys saw some of the catches that he made – none more important than the third down against San Francisco. He's been a big part of this offense. He's a big part of why I'm standing here today talking to you guys -- definitely increases my confidence that we'll have him back, and I hope we do," Flacco said.
Flacco's new contract will pay out what's being reported as $120.6 million over six years. Not only does it make him the highest paid player in the league, the deal makes him the highest paid player in NFL history.
Flacco finished the 2012 season with 3,817 passing yard and 22 touchdowns. His completion percentage heading into the 2013 season is 87.7.
"When guys that are drafted in the first round, when guys that win football games for you, quarterbacks like that, when the time comes up for those guys to get paid, they usually become the highest paid guy in the league," Flacco said. "I'm sure in a couple of months from now, someone is going to sign a deal, and you guys are going to be talking to them about how they are the highest paid guy in NFL history. That's just the name of the game."
Flacco said he hopes the new contract solidifies him as a Raven for life. He shared admiration for fans in Baltimore and the organization. His goal now that the contract is behind him -- "get the guys back and get them ready to go and make another run."