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Playoff success, not stats, defines elite

QB Jay Cutler (Bradley Lee/USP)

Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Tony Romo are among the so-called second tier of NFL quarterbacks soon to be in line for new NFL contracts. Their stats will help define the parameters of those big-money deals, but can they be defined as elite until they've produced under playoff pressure.

At some point in the not too distant future, probably before the beginning of the 2012 regular season, the Baltimore Ravens will reward Joe Flacco with a contract extension that makes him one of the league's highest paid quarterbacks. Then this debate, already fairly vocal among Ravens' fans, will really heat up: Is Flacco, who last season came within a dropped Lee Evans pass of taking the club...

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