BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Ravens have reportedly struck a deal to send QB Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos, according to industry reports. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says that the Ravens and Broncos have an agreement in principle, but that the trade cannot be processed until the new NFL league year begins on March 13.
CBS Sports Jason La Canfora also confirmed the trade Wednesday.
“When the Ravens drafted Lamar Jackson, Joe Flacco’s days in Baltimore were numbered,” said WJZ Sports Director Mark Viviano. “The Broncos give Flacco a chance to show he’s still capable of leading a productive NFL offense. I think it’s great that he gets a new start in the place of his most famous pass: the “Mile High Miracle” to Jacoby Jones. Flacco will be back in Baltimore some day for induction in the Ravens’ ‘Ring of Honor’.”
Flacco was the starter for most of his 11 seasons with the team before a hip injury sidelined him after nine games this season. While he was out, the Ravens turned to rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, who led the team to a 6-1 stretch run that earned them the AFC North Division title and a home playoff game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Jackson struggled in that game and many Ravens fans were wondering why head coach John Harbaugh didn’t re-insert Flacco as the starter in the second half.
Regardless, it became clear after the season that Jackson is the team’s quarterback moving forward which made Flacco an expendable piece. With another three years left on his deal, Flacco could be the answer to Denver’s quarterback quandry. Or, the team could move on from him after the 2019 season with zero cap penalties as all the guarantees in his contract will have already been paid out.
There will be plenty of debate over Flacco’s legacy in Baltimore, but he did lead the team to a Super Bowl title in 2012 with one of the best four-game stretches of quarterbacking that we’ve seen in the playoffs. Overall, in his 11 years as a starter with the Ravens, the team compiled a 96-67 record while Flacco threw for over 38,000 yards and 212 touchdowns. Both of those totals are far and away the most in franchise history.
The two teams are unable to comment about the terms of the deal until March 13th, so we’ll know more then what the Ravens got in return for Flacco.
“We all knew a trade was highly likely at some point but I think this was a bit sooner than we expected. Joe gets to go to a team with a good amount of talent, especially on the defensive side. On the offensive side of the ball, the Broncos have one of the best young running backs in the game in Phillip Lindsay. That will take a lot of pressure off Joe but as far as the Broncos current receivers go, outside of Courtland Sutton, they’re in desperate need of more weapons,” said WJZ’s Rick Ritter. “They’ll have to add around Joe in free agency and the draft, especially with some help at the tight end position. Some reports suggest that the Ravens will receive a 4th-round pick in the trade. If that’s the case, it’s a solid return for a quarterback who might not have much left in the tank.”
WJZ’s Marty Bass added, “Joe will always have a place in the football heart of Baltimore. #Wear5WithPride.”