On February 13th, the Denver Broncos announced that they traded with the Baltimore Ravens for the Super Bowl XLVII MVP, acquiring Joe Flacco. It was the first big move in the NFL free agency, and to many, the trade was quite shocking. It showed that the Broncos (especially John Elway) were desperate enough to get another quarterback in an effort to start winning again. The past two years have shown serious inconsistency at the quarterback position for the team. Denver has went through Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Chad Kelley, and Case Keenum before Flacco.
My initial reaction was that this did not seem right. Joe Flacco had been the face of the Ravens since 2008, and I thought that he would play with them his whole career. I mean, he won a Super Bowl with them! The Ravens will be keeping their rockstar rookie quarterback, Lamar Jackson, but still, that’s a risky bet. Granted, I said the same thing about Patrick Mahomes and Alex Smith, and look where that ended up.
Looking at it more closely, I’ve began to realize that this deal might help the Broncos more than I initially had expected. While I was revisiting some of his old Super Bowl highlights, I was reminded of why the other teams in the AFC dreaded playing the Ravens. It was because Flacco could be under pressure with less than a foot of space and still throw a 40 yard laser for a large gain. His arm is ridiculously strong. I mean seriously…RIDICULOUS!
Not only is his strength spot-on, but he also hits every target with tremendous accuracy. It probably doesn’t hurt that he’s 6’6″.
Now thinking about the Broncos, specifically from last season, they struggled giving Case Keenum time to throw the ball. That problem could still be there next season. The best part for Mile-High fans is that Joe Flacco thrives under pressure. The offensive line situation when he played in the Super Bowl certainly was not as bad as the Broncos’ last season, however there were many similarities between the two. Case Keenum was known for staying put in the pocket and holding the ball a little to long. Flacco moves around like nobody’s business. He can also see and read defenders early, which is something that a lot of current quarterbacks don’t do all of the time.
The Broncos Roster should be a good fit for Joe. Emmanuel Sanders is expected to be healed by the next season which will give the quarterback more opportunities for longer passes during games. Courtland Sutton, just coming off his rookie season, can catch almost anything, so if Flacco needs to just throw one away from the pocket, then he can most-likely find him. If neither of these guys are open in a play, he also has some of the most talented sophomore running backs in the league as a trick up his sleeve: Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. These guys can run and block in both excellence and style. It will be hard to guard this offense.
John Elway is probably the person who is stressed the most out of this deal. The past few decisions he made at the quarterback position could be called “busts,” so if he does not find success in this trade, he might be kicked out of the same franchise that he “built,” as a player.
Overall, I think that this was a good trade, and that every Broncos fan should be excited because this seems a lot like the Peyton Manning trade scenario (minus the Peyton Manning).
Photo Credit:By Saquan Stimpson – originally posted to Flickr as Joe Flacco, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4471504