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Joe Flacco traded to Denver, what does it mean for Ravens

The Ravens are massively changing the direction of their franchise with this trade.

February 13, 2019 - 12:57 pm

By: Kyle J. Andrews

Per a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will be traded to the Denver Broncos, but the trade cannot go through until the new league year begins in March 13. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Baltimore will receive a mid-round pick for Flacco. So what does this mean for the Ravens?

It is safe to say that Baltimore is investing all of their chips into Lamar Jackson as their starter for the foreseeable future. Jackson was drafted 32nd overall in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. With his selection, the writing was on the wall for Flacco.

Flacco would make nine starts in 2018 before injuring his right hip. He completed 61.2% of his passes for 2,465 yards, 12 touchdowns, six interceptions and a 84.2 quarterback rating. After his nine starts, Baltimore held a 4-5 record and were on the outside looking into the playoffs.

Jackson entered in for Flacco and never looked back. With his dual-threat abilities, Jackson changed the direction of Baltimore’s offense by way of the read option. With 147 rushes, 695 rushing yards and five touchdowns, the Ravens hopped to number two in rushing yards (2,441) and third in touchdowns (19). Baltimore also went 6-1 during this span, winning their division.

This also means that the Ravens will immediately save $10.5 million in cap space during the 2019 season. As a whole, they will save $18.5 million in cash in 2019. Despite this, Baltimore will still have a $16 million hit in dead cap space.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, Baltimore will receive one of Denver’s fourth-round selections. The Broncos had two fourth round picks coming into the 2019 NFL Draft. Baltimore had just six picks in the draft before the trade. They sent their second-round pick in 2018 to the Philadelphia Eagles to move into the first round for Jackson. They received the Tennessee Titans sixth-round selection by trading linebacker Kamalei Correa after training camp last year.

The Broncos odds to win the Super Bowl have actually dropped from 100/1 to 125/1 with this trade. Baltimore’s odds have increased from 30/1 to 28/1.  

The Legacy of Joe Flacco

Flacco’s history with the Ravens was full of ups and downs. “January Joe”, as he is fondly called by the Ravens faithful, began his career by making the playoffs five straight times, winning at least one postseason game in his first five seasons. He would go on to have a Super Bowl run where he passed for 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions, being named as a Super Bowl MVP.

Ironically enough during that run, he went through the Broncos at Mile High. He would throw what was the longest pass of his playoff a career -- a 70-yard strike to Jacoby Jones over the head of Broncos safety Raheem Moore. It would be dubbed the “Mile High Miracle”.

However, in the season following his Super Bowl run, Flacco had what was the worst season of his career. Though he nearly passed for 4,000 yards (3,912), Flacco threw just 19 touchdowns and 22 interceptions with a passer rating of 73.1. Baltimore missed the playoffs in that season, but would hire Gary Kubiak as their offensive coordinator.

After his worst season a year prior, Flacco shine to greater heights with the acquisition of Steve Smith Sr. via a trade with the Carolina Panthers. The then-29-year old passed for 3,986 yards with 27 touchdowns (a career-high) and had 12 interceptions with a 91.0 rating in 2014.

Baltimore returned to the playoffs with Flacco passing for 259 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers and 292 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in a loss versus the New England Patriots.

Flacco would go on to struggle with a knee injury in Week 12 of the 2015 season, that lingered on well into the 2016 season. He would then injure his back during prior to the 2017 offseason and had his lowest passing yardage (3,141)l for a season in which he played 16 games since his rookie year (2,971).

Despite the up and down nature of his career, Flacco is undoubtedly the greatest quarterback in franchise history. Only time will tell what Jackson will accomplish, but now he has a goal to follow.

Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleJAndrews_