When the Baltimore Ravens traded their former Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos, it shook up the landscape in a quarterback-starved 2019 NFL offseason.
The Broncos grabbed one of the only quality quarterbacks available and the Ravens ended up with a fourth round NFL Draft pick in exchange, a good deal for both teams.
Here is a look at the Flacco trade and what it means for both teams.
Joe Flacco trade details
The Joe Flacco trade becomes official on March 13, the start of the NFL League Year, but the two teams pretty much made it official on Wednesday.
The Denver Broncos receive Joe Flacco, who led the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl victory in the 2012 NFL season over the San Francisco 49ers.
It was the first Super Bowl appearance in the franchise’s history and it earned Flacco a monster contract as a result. In 2013, Flacco signed a six-year, $120.6 million extension with the Ravens, one of the largest contracts in the NFL at that time.
After the trade, Flacco is due $18.5 million in 2019, $20.25 million in 2020 and $24.25 million in 2021. None of that is guaranteed money, but Flacco has reportedly agreed to restructure his contract to help Denver, according to ESPN.
What the Joe Flacco trade means for Denver Broncos
The Joe Flacco trade came as a surprise. Just last season, the Denver Broncos signed Case Keenum to a two-year, $36 million contract with $25 million guaranteed.
While Keenum didn’t do as well as hoped in his first year in Denver, it was still better than any quarterback since the team signed Peyton Manning.
The Joe Flacco trade is seen as similar to the Peyton Manning pickup. Most fans thought Manning’s career was over with but he led the Broncos to a Super Bowl win. However, Flacco is not Peyton Manning.
Since the Super Bowl-winning season, Flacco has thrown 110 touchdowns and 80 interceptions. His best quarterback rating in that time was a 91.0 in 2014 but he has been in the low 80s the last four seasons.
He lost his job last season to rookie Lamar Jackson.
Last season, Case Keenum finished with a quarterback rating of 81.2 with 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His numbers for his career are very similar to Flacco’s past few seasons with a career quarterback rating of 84.5.
The two men will compete for the starting job in Denver unless the Broncos trade Keenum. Troy Renck of Denver 7 News (via CBS Sports) reported that Keenum’s time as the starter is likely done and the Broncos will likely try to trade him.
What the Joe Flacco trade means for Baltimore Ravens
For the Baltimore Ravens, this means that Lamar Jackson’s time is now.
The fact that they received a fourth-round NFL Draft pick and got rid of Flacco’s contract is huge for the Ravens as well, because they are now under Jackson’s rookie contract (4 years, $9.4 million) and can afford to add pieces around him.
Jackson finished his first season in Baltimore starting eight games, including a playoff appearance, and finishing with a 84.5 QB rating, six touchdowns and three interceptions.
However, he also ran for 695 yards and five touchdowns, which is something Flacco could not do for Baltimore. Likely, the Ravens will sign someone like Tyrod Taylor to back up Jackson since he has a similar playing style.
What the Joe Flacco trade means for the NFL
If a team needs a starting quarterback there is not much out there that looks exciting.
Case Keenum likely needs a new home, but he proved in Denver last year that he is a quarterback that needs a lot of help around him to win.
Eli Manning will probably stick with the New York Giants for at least one more season, but his career is winding down.
Nick Foles wants to be a starter. After leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl victory two years ago and back to the playoffs last season after starting quarterback Carson Wentz was injured, there is a market for him now.
The Eagles can franchise tag Foles but then they have to trade him or it cripples their chances at signing anyone as a free agent. With the Broncos trading for Flacco, it might give the Eagles the hope that they can get a similar deal for Foles.
Outside of that, the rookie market is small with only limited exciting surefire first-round names in Ohio State Buckeyes’ Dwayne Haskins, Duke Blue Devils’ Daniel Jones, Missouri Tigers’ Drew Lock, and the Oklahoma Sooners’ Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray as legitimate options.