Redskins Were Reportedly Interested in Joe Flacco
One of the biggest questions to come from the reported Joe Flacco trade to Denver was how the Ravens were (again, reportedly) able to get a draft pick for Flacco when there seemingly wasn't (known) competition.
Well, on Sunday, a radio station out of Denver, 104.3 The Fan, reported that the Washington Redskins were also interested in Flacco's services.
ESPN's John Keim also tweeted that Adam Schefter said on the day of the reported trade that the Ravens and Redskins had talked.
"Things might have moved quicker between the Ravens and the Broncos because another team had interest," wrote NBC Sports Washington’s JP Finlay. "That team? The Washington Redskins."
MMQB’s Albert Breer followed up this morning, confirming the reports of the Redskins' interest.
"One team that was in on Flacco other than Denver: Washington," Breer wrote. "Given the price, both in the mid-round draft pick and a middling starting-quarterback contract, it makes sense, as Washington works through an uncertain future at the position."
Washington was long rumored as a team that could be interested in Flacco given Alex Smith's injury. However, Redskins reporters immediately questioned the notion that Washington could have been a serious player because the Redskins don't have much cap space.
"Redskins team president Bruce Allen handles trades for the team, and it's possible he reached out to Baltimore on Flacco. That could mean just one perfunctory phone call, or a real conversation," Finlay wrote.
"The reality, however, is the Redskins don't have close to the cap space needed to add Flacco. In 2019, Flacco's contract will count more than $26 million toward the salary cap. The Redskins are only $17 million under the cap. Just on the most basic level, acquiring Flacco wouldn't have worked."
It's all water under the bridge if the reported trade is finalized on March 13, and Breer said the process is already underway for that to happen.
"Sources say Joe Flacco has been on the ground in Denver, and already took his physical with the Broncos, clearing the way for the trade with the Ravens to become official when the new league year kicks off on March 13," Breer wrote.
While the Redskins' reported interest may not end up meaning anything, it could shine some light on the deft maneuvering of new Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta.
ESPN's Dan Graziano wrote about the odd quarterback market this offseason. He also said sources told him Flacco was hoping the Ravens would "trade or cut him well in advance of the start of the league year."
"This year, for the first time in recent memory, the NFL's quarterback supply seems to be outpacing demand," Graziano wrote. "An informal survey of agents and team executives around the league found the list of teams looking for a starting quarterback to be a surprisingly short one, replete with caveats."
"Given the handful of quarterbacks expected to be taken in the first round of this year's draft, all far cheaper than Flacco, the Ravens were fortunate to find a trade partner with a sensible offer," wrote The Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer. "They were never going to get the bounties that Sam Bradford (first- and fourth-round picks) and Jimmy Garoppolo (second-round pick) fetched in recent years."
Speaking of the reported trade, former Ravens and Broncos pass rusher Elvis Dumervil weighed in with a hot take.
Dumervil was on the other side of Flacco's game-winning "Mile High Miracle" in Denver during the 2012 playoffs. NBC Sports' Peter King was feeling sentimental about the play (Scat right 99) in light of last week's Flacco news. He recalled the play call, the sideline reaction, Flacco's cool demeanor after the game.
"I will always remember Flacco after that game," King wrote. "Smiling, fairly happy, but with him, you could never tell just how happy. His backup, Tyrod Taylor, seemed more thrilled, honestly."
King also recalled the rest of Flacco's epic Super Bowl XLVII run.
"Elite or not, Flacco deserves to be remembered as the man who delivered a Super Bowl title to Baltimore," King wrote. "And when the Ravens picked him 18th out of Delaware in 2008, I guarantee if you'd told owner Steve Bisciotti he'd win one Super Bowl with Flacco in 11 seasons, he'd have signed for it right then."
A Change of Scenery Helps This Raven Most
Sometimes all a player needs is a change of scenery to get things going in the right direction.
Breshad Perriman may be a perfect example, as he turned things around in Cleveland late in the season and is now apparently among the team's top offseason priorities to re-sign.
ESPN picked one player from each NFL team that they say needs a change of scenery this offseason and selected wide receiver Michael Crabtree for Baltimore. Crabtree inked a three-year deal last year.
As pointed out, the Ravens would save $4.66 million by parting ways with Crabtree, who posted 54 catches for 607 yards and three scores in his first season in purple and black.
Crabtree also struggled with drops and, like most of the Ravens' receivers last year, saw a drop-off in production after Lamar Jackson took over under center.
"Crabtree would have the chance to find a more accurate quarterback than Lamar Jackson, who electrified the Ravens with his playmaking but was an inconsistent passer," ESPN wrote. "As a starter, only half of Jackson's passes to wide receivers resulted in completions, better than only the Bengals during that time frame."
Antonio Brown Hosts a Spontaneous 'AMA' (Ask Me Anything)
Be honest, you can't get enough Antonio Brown updates.
The weekend brought some more fresh headlines, as the disgruntled Steelers wide receiver will meet with Steelers Owner Art Rooney II at his home in Florida, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
After that news came out, Brown held an impromptu “AMA” (ask me anything) on Twitter for his followers Saturday afternoon. One of the questions he answered was what caused the conflict between he and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
He also talked about why he didn't suit up for the Steelers' Week 17 season finale against the Bengals.
There are a lot of people who believe Brown won't return to Pittsburgh (and presumably the AFC North), but it's all still up in the air with seemingly many more developments yet to come.
Speaking of former Steelers, here's another analyst – former running back Terrell Davis of the NFL Network – who believes running back Le'Veon Bell's best fit is with the Ravens.
- The one Combine participant that Ravens fans should watch, according to NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah and Lance Zierlein, is Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman.
- The Ravens had three of the top 20 NFL games of 2018, as ranked by the NFL Network. Baltimore's Week 17 AFC North-clinching win over the Browns came in at No. 19, the Ravens' Week 7 loss to the New Orleans Saints was No. 16, and Baltimore's Week 14 overtime defeat in Kansas City was No. 13.
- Former Ravens tight end Gavin Escobar was on the receiving end of this ridiculous AAF play.