While the Ravens are not confirming, nor commenting, on the matter, there are reports about the Ravens trading Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos.
Here’s the latest:
Per NFL rules, trades cannot be completed and/or processed until March 13 at 4 p.m. – a month from now. Once again, the Ravens are not confirming the deal or endorsing the reports.
The terms of the reported deal also cannot be discussed until the new league year begins, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and others say it’s a fourth-round pick.
Trading Flacco would be considered a win for the Ravens and new General Manager Eric DeCosta, who were clearly poised to move on from their former franchise quarterback after switching to Lamar Jackson last season. Instead of releasing him, the Ravens would get something in return.
Jackson won six of the Ravens’ final seven regular-season games, leading them to the AFC North title and into the playoffs. After Baltimore’s wild-card loss, Head Coach John Harbaugh said he expected teams to be heavily interested in Flacco.
“Joe Flacco is going to do really well in this league. Joe can still play. I think we saw that the first half of the season,” Harbaugh said. “Joe's going to have a market. A lot of teams are going to want Joe because they understand that.”
The Ravens weren’t going to keep Flacco at his current price, as he was set to have an $18.5 million salary cap hit next season. A trade would free up $10.5 million in cap space for the Ravens as they head into free agency. Baltimore would carry $16 million in dead money into 2019.
"All it takes is one team. If there’s one team interested, yeah, we’ll probably trade him," DeCosta said earlier this month. "This league craves quarterbacks, and Joe Flacco has won a lot of games."
Flacco has been instrumental in the Ravens’ success over the past decade-plus, and was a class act last year even after Jackson replaced him midway through the year.
Flacco went on a torrid run to lead the Ravens to Super Bowl XLVII glory, throwing 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions along the way. He helped lead Baltimore to seven playoff appearances in his 11 seasons. “January Joe” still has the most road playoff wins (seven) in NFL history.
One of Flacco’s greatest career moments came in Denver against John Elway’s Broncos. He threw the “Mile High Miracle” to eliminate the Broncos and move onto the 2012 AFC championship. The Broncos would be putting one of the league’s strongest arms in Denver’s thin air. New Broncos Head Coach Vic Fangio was in Baltimore for Flacco's first two years in the NFL (2008-2009).
“I'll be in Joe's corner wherever he's at,” Harbaugh said last month. “He's special. Joe Flacco is a great talent. He's an even better person. He's the best quarterback in the history of the Ravens, no question.”