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For Eric DeCosta, Getting a Fourth-Round Pick for Joe Flacco is a Success

February 13, 2019 - 11:35 pm

By Joe Schiller

Just over one month into his new role as general manager of the Baltimore Ravens, Eric DeCosta and his staff have been busy.

The Ravens signed John Harbaugh to a four-year deal in late January, securing the head coach through the 2022 season.

On Wednesday, Baltimore reportedly agreed in principle to trade Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round pick.

It’s the end of an era for Flacco after 11 seasons as the former Super Bowl MVP departs to the Mile High City. But for DeCosta and his front office, they couldn’t have asked for a better outcome in this scenario.

They capitalized on a Broncos team urgently searching for a quarterback and landed a quality draft pick in the process.

The decision to move on from Flacco wasn’t a shock to anyone– it was public knowledge.

Following the team’s 23-17 Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, Harbaugh all but confirmed Flacco would be playing elsewhere next season.

I knew it, you knew it, and John Elway knew it. Flacco became expendable the day Lamar Jackson was drafted. That notion only grew larger as Jackson took over starting duties and helped lead the Ravens to an AFC North divison title and a playoff berth. 

The question then became: Would the Ravens trade or release Flacco?

If traded, at what price?

DeCosta couldn't afford to wait post-June 1st to trade Flacco, no matter the cap savings, and the Broncos provided a perfect partner. 

Denver has gone just 20-28 in three seasons after winning the Super Bowl in 2015 and Elway has faced more scrutiny now more than ever as a general manager. 

His quarterback carousel of Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian and Case Keenum was underwhelming. And in the even if the Broncos planned on taking a quarterback in the first round of the NFL draft this year, they needed a solution for the present.

Flacco may or may not be that, but Denver paid the price for the 34-year-old quarterback.

Once the trade becomes official at the beginning of the new league year on March 13th, the Ravens will save $10.5 million in cap space while taking on $16 million in dead cap.

They’ll have seven total draft picks with the strong possibility of a 3rd or 4th round compensatory pick. Couple that with cap flexibility and a talented quarterback on a rookie deal and DeCosta has set up the Ravens to succeed this offseason.

The Ravens got a draft pick for a player that would have ultimately let walk in the offseason for nothing, so this is a success in my book.