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...what would you, as the General Manager of the team, would you do to replace him, through free agency and the NFL Draft?
Now before you jump on that keyboard and say that if you are the Baltimore Ravens GM, you never would QB Joe Flacco hit the open market, then perhaps you should just pass on this mind-bending post. Use your imagination and prove your football strategy and let us know what you would do with those two #1 draft picks as well as what you might target in free agency.
OF course Joe Flacco is not going anywhere, but what if the team did place that non-exclusive tag on Joe and the Kansas City Chiefs beat out the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals in jumping on the phone to the league office to Fed Ex those two picks to the Ravens for their new Franchise QB.
The Ravens would now have the first pick (and the 32nd) in the 2013 NFL Draft this year along with what would probably be a top ten pick next season since Flacco would probably not take the Chiefs out of the bottom of the league in his first year there.
At the same time, no Flacco in Baltimore could have the Ravens picking in the top ten of the draft in 2014 too, right? Would you, as GM use that #1 overall pick or perhaps trade it down to around #10 and pick up a few more early round picks to totally rebuild you team or at least shore up the plethora of needs the Ravens are potentially looking at?
Should you look at one of the many backup QB's who will either be on the veteran free agent market or considered trade bait by their current teams. If Matt Flynn or Chad Henne or even Tyrod Taylor doesn't float your boat, then who in the draft might you want to target as either a project or the one to follow in Flacco's footsteps by starting the season as the Ravens new QB?
If I'm Ozzie Newsome, which most of you will not hesitate to say you're glad I'm not, I totally screwed up by allowing Joe to walk. Now that he has, if owner Steve Bisciotti hasn't fired me by now, I trade the #1 overall pick for a bevy of picks and go after one of two QB's in the draft. I believe that Oklahoma QB Landry Jones will come out of the 2013 QB class as the best of the QB group over the course of their NFL careers.
The only other QB I really like is NC State's Mike Glennon, who fits the physical bill of the typical AFC North QB (6'6", 232 pounds). Glennon is ironically compared to Joe Flacco in terms of physical skills, including arm strength versus foot speed.
Landry Jones is no shrimp either (6'4", 225 pounds), and both QB's would definitely be available when the Ravens pick in the 32nd spot and perhaps even later depending what other picks they accumulate after trading down from the top spot. Trading down could allow the team to grab one of the best inside linebackers, defensive linemen, offensive tackles or safeties, depending on their openings after free agency has died down.
Obviously, an almost unthinkable scenario like this would more than likely totally change the look of the Ravens, not just at QB, but on both sides of the ball. The possibilities are endless and we could go position-by-position to discuss what they could do in the draft as a result of the domino effect that losing a Joe Flacco would do to any franchise.
However, if this is too ludicrous of a thought for your to be able to roll with, then just move on, there's nothing happening here, etc. If you can handle the possibility and want to show off your NFL strategic planning skills in the face of adversity, then let's see what you've got.