Is Flacco disrespecting Peyton Manning?

January, 29, 2013
1/29/13
2:00
PM ET
NFL Network passed along an interesting nugget saying that the camp of Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco is aiming for him to be paid more than Peyton Manning.

Why do Flacco’s representatives think he deserves more than the five-year, $90 million deal Manning got from the Denver Broncos last March? Because, according to the report, they think Flacco is playing better than Manning.

I heard from a lot of outraged Broncos fans about that claim. My thoughts?

Well, Flacco is in the Super Bowl and one of the reasons why he is in New Orleans is because he and the Ravens beat Manning and the Broncos in the playoffs. For the moment, Flacco is playing better than Manning because he is still playing and Manning is not. It’s the old-fashioned "scoreboard" reasoning.

Of course, Manning is an MVP favorite and he had a better year than Flacco. If you polled 32 teams, I’d bet the vast majority would rather have Manning, who will be 37 in March, than Flacco in 2013.

But Flacco is 28 and he in his prime. Thus, a Super Bowl quarterback who is a free agent in the prime of his career is definitely going to try to beat the contract of the last huge contract signed by a premier veteran quarterback. It doesn’t mean he is disrespecting Manning. It’s just business.

In other AFC West-related news:

My thoughts on the report that the New York Jets are exploring the idea of signing former Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell?

Man, the Jets are a mess. Russell is in the early stages of his comeback. He hasn’t played in four years and he was awful when he played. He has to prove himself to earn his way back into the NFL. I just don’t know why the Jets are having any interest before Russell shows he belongs.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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