In an inevitable move that may still feel slightly surreal to Ravens fans, Baltimore’s front office has reportedly agreed to trade longtime franchise quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos when the new league year opens on March 13th:
Breaking: Baltimore has agreement in principle to trade former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco to the Broncos, league sources told ESPN.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 13, 2019
Trade cannot be processed until new NFL league year begins Wednesday, March 13. Teams prohibited from commenting on deal or terms surrounding it.
While expected, the process of a divorce between Flacco and Baltimore was always going to be unpredictable. This announcement certainly is somewhat out of the blue, and immediately raises questions which may not be answered for another month due to stipulation that neither team can comment on the transaction until then.
As for the questions that can be answered, his relative albatross of a contract is cleared with 10.5 million dollars in relief issued to Baltimore’s cap:
The #Ravens will take on a $16M dead cap hit to trade Joe Flacco, to the #Broncos, who acquire him with salaries/cap hits of $18.5M, $20.25M, & $24.25M thru 2021, $0 guaranteed. Baltimore saves $10.5M of cap space in 2019.https://t.co/F6yyDoBJmi— Spotrac (@spotrac) February 13, 2019
In terms of direct compensation, it’s being floated that John Elway and the Broncos are parting with a mid rounder to acquire the services of the former Super Bowl MVP:
All of this pretty much checks out. Denver was always seen as a possible trade partner when it became clear that Baltimore would be moving on, and using the Alex Smith trade as a framework would suggest mid round draft compensation (and possibly a competent player as well) to get back.
Considering it was a question of when not if, the Ravens should be pleased they got anything out of a deal to move on from Flacco; anything above a fourth rounder should be looked at as an absolute coup for Eric DeCosta in his first major transaction in charge. With all of that out of the way, a new era under DeCosta and surrounding Lamar Jackson officially begins.
We shouldn’t move forward without giving proper due to Flacco though. Coming in as a small school prospect who was once looked at as a draft reach, he accomplished more than most Baltimore fans probably ever expected.
Jaded from the Kyle Boller experience and entering into an uncertain time with Flacco and John Harbaugh at the helm, it was fair for them to be somewhat skeptical at the time. Seven playoff appearances, three division titles, and one Super Bowl ring later, Baltimore backers say goodbye to Flacco and will hopefully wish him well in his exploits as a Bronco after he delivered a very successful era of Ravens football to them on balance.
Good luck, God speed, and thanks for the memories. Especially this one:
Do you like this trade for the Ravens?
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