The Baltimore Ravens will trade Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos once the 2019 NFL season officially begins on March 17. That was the trade the Ravens were looking for since Lamar Jackson became team’s starter last season. Besides that, it has to be said that this transaction also makes sense for the Broncos.
Flacco under center will make Denver’s offense better than it was with Case Keenum. The former Ravens has more experience as a starter than Keenum. By the way, besides the 2017 season Keenum has never showed signals that he can be a solid starter in the NFL.
From 2013 to 2016, Keenum started in only 24 of 80 possible regular season games. Yes, he was very good last season when he totalled 11 wins, 22 touchdown passes, and seven interceptions in 14 games for the Vikings. However, a unique solid season in a below-average career doesn’t mean a long-term team leader. His career record now is 26-28 and the only team (out of four) he posted a winning record was the single year he played for the Vikings.
Flacco has 96 wins a starter. He entered the league in 2008 and had been under center for Baltimore for 163 times since. He might not be as elite as other quarterbacks in the NFL, but the #5 has proved himself as a real starter.
Baltimore franchise has won the Lombardi Trophy led by Flacco. He was named the Super Bowl XLVII MVP after one of the best postseason performances ever by a QB. In 2012, Flacco didn’t turn the ball over and had 11 touchdowns in Ravens’ four consecutive wins that culminated in the finale triumph against the San Francisco 49ers.
Indeed, since the historic march to SBVLII, Flacco hasn’t performed at a high level. In five of the last six seasons he didn’t reach 20 touchdowns passes. Neither finished a year throwing for more than 6.5 yards per attempt, what is a big downfall considering that league’s passers are increasing their production season by season. Flacco’s contract is also an issue: $18.5 million in 2019, plus a total of $44.5 million valid for 2020 and 2021 (no guaranteed value).
But Keenum’s recent numbers, once again, are worse than Flacco’s. Between 2012 and 2018, Keenum has averaged 3,554 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions per 16 games. During the same span, Flacco posted a 3,948 yds, 21 TDs, and 15 INTs per 16 games-average. Also, the Broncos have already declared they will move on from Keenum and will firstly try to trade him, which means they can avoid a $18 million salary for 2019 that includes $7 million guaranteed.
A new 2019 NFL season actually looks like an old one for Denver for what John Elway has experienced since Peyton Manning retired in 2015. The Broncos are still looking for a solid starter at the quarterback position. They gave up on Keenum after one season and just traded for another option. A more experienced one. Better than his predecessor.