Flacco's average would put him in line with Drew Brees ($20 million), Peyton Manning ($19.2 million) and Michael Vick ($16 million) among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL. (Vick gets knocked off the list if he isn't with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013.)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is entering the final year of his deal in 2013 and is almost certain to get a contract extension, which, of course, would also lower his cap number and continue the long-term stability at the position.
But how much do you pay Romo?
Does Romo's agent look at what Flacco is about to get and say his client is better?
Or does Romo, whose average salary is $12.7 million, get more of an average salary in the range of say Matt Schaub, whose average is $13.2 million? What about Philip Rivers, who gets an average salary of $14.03 million?
Cutler might command an average salary of $15-18 million. Do the Cowboys push Romo to that number?
Romo is a good quarterback. But he has struggled in late-season games, as his 1-6 record in win-or-go home games would attest. The length of Romo's contract is another topic. Should Romo get a three-year contract extension? How about a five-year extension?
What about drafting a quarterback in 2013? How would Romo respond to that? Would it upset him if the Cowboys used a pick on a quarterback?
Romo halted contract extension talks during the 2012 season to prevent it from becoming a distraction. It was a smart move at the time, but did Romo lose some leverage with the Cowboys by struggling in the regular-season finale at Washington, when he threw three interceptions?
One other option the Cowboys have: Don't extend Romo. Let him play out his contract, then use the franchise tag on him in 2014 if he plays well. Make Romo earn his money, given that he'll be 33 when next season begins and has led the Cowboys to just one playoff victory in his career.