THE DENVER BRONCOS CATCH FLACK FOR FLACCO
A serious issue has plagued the Denver Broncos since their Super Bowl victory three seasons ago. That issue has been placing a quality QB under center. Since 2015, the Mile High residents have placed the likes of Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, a revisit of Brock Osweiler and most recently last season, free agent signing Case Keenum. The results have been mediocre at best but for the most part, the Broncos have received subpar play at the QB position. The last three seasons, the Broncos have gone 20-28 and missed out on the playoffs each season. The last two have been particularly miserable with double-digit loss campaigns.
In an effort to right the ship, Broncos GM and president of Football Operations John Elway pulled the trigger on a deal that will acquire veteran QB Joe Flacco from the Ravens for a draft pick. It is quite ironic how the Hall of Fame QB and Denver icon in John Elway has had quite a troublesome time evaluating and fielding a capable player at a position he mastered. In any case, let’s look at what the Broncos are getting in Flacco. The 34-year old Flacco will be entering his 12th NFL season. He has had a serviceable, solid career and is what is considered a “game manager” type of quarterback. Flacco holds many all-time Raven QB records in several categories. He has amassed a career 84.1 passer rating, thrown for over 38,000 yards and 212 TD’s, while compiling a 96-67 record at the helm of the Ravens. Many of those victories can be attributed to a stellar Ravens defense for the majority of Flacco’s career in Baltimore, however, he did earn Super Bowl MVP honors as the Ravens captured the Super Bowl title in 2013. Flacco also was named Rookie of the Year in 2009.
Flacco became expendable to Baltimore last season after he was replaced in Week 9 by Rookie Lamar Jackson due to a hip injury he suffered against the Steelers. Jackson went 6-1 and impressed so much that Flacco was relegated to a backup role once he was cleared to play. So here we are, Flacco is now a Denver Bronco. I believe he definitely is an upgrade over Case Keenum, but not significant enough to change Denver’s fortunes. If this was a scenario where Denver already had a plethora of offensive weapons and just needed a solid QB to distribute the ball and manage the game effectively, I would be more sold on this deal. In this case though, I believe this is another stop gap measure for Elway in his pursuit of “himself”. This also signals to me that perhaps he is not enamored with the crop of QB’s slated to be available in this year’s draft. The Broncos can draft their “franchise” QB in next year’s draft while having a solid vet in Flacco man the position until he is ready.
Does this move push the Broncos into playoff contention? Absolutely not. Before I rush to judgement though, let’s see what else Elway does via free agency once the league year starts March 13. I’m sure the Mile High faithful are getting antsy as the franchise has been in playoff contention for the most part over the last 25 years, including 3 Super Bowl titles, so this period of terrible football is unchartered territory for them.