Let's put this simply: Joe Flacco's six-year, $121-million contract is actually for three years and $62 million.
One day the grand totals of NFL deals will stop being reported, since the later years are more or less imaginary. (Remember, NFL contracts aren't "contracts" in the most common sense.) Flacco's massive deal with the Ravens looks enormous, and ostensibly makes him the highest paid player in football. But it's as much of a fantasy as any long-term deal worked out in the salary cap era.