-- When will the NFL finally disavow the utterly ridiculous "Quarterback Wins" statistic? Right about when agents start using that number to push their clients' future contracts into the stratosphere. America, that time has come. The agent for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco believes that his guy is worth top-five money because of his 44-20 "record" in the regular season.
"If the game is about wins and losses, he has to be in the top five [quarterbacks]," [agent Joe] Linta said. "He is a player who has been extremely durable, never missed a game. And he's done something that no one has ever done. In his four years in the league, he has never missed a game and has more wins than any other quarterback."
Well, Ray Rice and a very stout defense had a bit to do with those victories. Especially games like the November, 2009 win over Cleveland, when Flacco went 12 of 18 for 155 yards and no touchdowns, and the Ravens shut out the Browns, 16-0. Or the January, 2011 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, when Flacco went 14 of 19 for 123 yards and a pick. Or the October, 2011 win over the New York Jets, when Flacco completed 10 passes in 31 attempts for 163 yards and a pick. Clearly, he was carrying the team on his back with that 32.3 completion percentage. We're not saying that Flacco is a bad quarterback, but ... if you want to bring performance-based metrics to the table, that'd be nice. [Baltimore Sun]
-- The Buffalo Bills are exchanging contract proposals with receiver Stevie Johnson, and the two sides may meet at next week's scouting combine. We believe that if they want to keep their current offense afloat, the Bills would be wise to lock Johnson up for a while. Per Football Outsiders' game-charting numbers, the Bills ran the fewest zero- and one-receiver sets in the NFL in 2011. Correspondingly, they ran the most four- and five-receiver sets in the league, each by a fairly hefty margin. We're not football geniuses or anything, but you need multiple receivers to run multi-receiver sets. [Buffalo News]
-- Also from FO: Brian McIntyre's excellent salary cap series, which looks at the finances of each team by division. The most recent entry covers the AFC South. [Football Outsiders]
-- Speaking of receiver requirements, Jeff Fisher just took over a St. Louis Rams team in desperate need of same. And Fisher wouldn't rule out the possibility of Randy Moss coming on board when asked about it on Tuesday. Moss last played for Fisher's Tennessee Titans in 2010. For Sam Bradford, any port in a storm would be a bonus right about now. [Stltoday.com]
-- In the two-hour media conference call Mike Mayock held on Wednesday, the NFL Network draft expert (and in his case, that term is perfectly accurate) put forth the proposition that Andrew Luck is not yet the once-in-a-lifetime player so many believe he is.
"When you throw Andrew Luck into that grouping, I think he falls — from an intellect and the whole passion for the game of football — somewhere in that kind of Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan mold. That's how much the kid loves it. As far as ability, I don't think he's quite in the Peyton Manning mold. But I think he's close. I think he's got a little more ability than a Matt Ryan when he came out. But, I don't put him up there as a once in a lifetime guy. I've never said that about him. I think he's in the same category with a [Sam] Bradford. . . I'm not sitting here telling you that I think he's going to be Tom Brady or Peyton Manning."
Mayock also mentioned that Luck will blow NFL teams away when they ask him to draw things up on the whiteboard. He seemed more intrigued by Baylor's Robert Griffin III, and we'll have a piece up with Mayock's thoughts on RGIII later today. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
-- Gregg Rosenthal has a few thoughts on which players should see the franchise tag this year if their current teams can't work out long-term contracts. I like the list because Gregg features some truly underrated players, such as Calais Campbell, Brent Grimes, Brandon Carr, and Sione Pouha. Good read. [NBCSports.com]