With Lamar Jackson as the present and future behind center, it was time for the Baltimore Ravens to move on from Joe Flacco. Flacco leaves Baltimore with an undeniable legacy.
Joe Flacco’s days with the Baltimore Ravens have been numbered for a while. The countdown unofficially started when they traded back into the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft to select quarterback Lamar Jackson. It officially started when Flacco got injured and Jackson took his starting role.
On Wednesday, Feb. 13, the Ravens reportedly traded their Super Bowl-winning quarterback to the Denver Broncos. This deal isn’t official because it can’t happen until the start of the new league year (March 13). However, Adam Schefter is reporting the return will most likely feature a mid-round draft pick.
The Ravens are definitely smart to move on from Flacco. After all, Jackson is the present and the future at quarterback in Baltimore. With the Broncos, Flacco will be a starter. The Ravens owed it to their Super Bowl XLVII hero to move him somewhere he could play.
In life, they say you should try to leave places better than you found them. Flacco is leaving the Ravens in a far better state than he found them in. Baltimore showed confidence in the Delaware Blue Hen by drafting in the first round in 2008. Though Flacco wasn’t supposed to start his first year, Troy Smith got very sick, which forced him into a starting role.
This was a role Joe did not relinquish until November when Jackson flourished. Flacco leaves Baltimore a hero. He was the hugest reason the Ravens won in Super Bowl XLVII. No one in Baltimore will ever forget the “Mile High Miracle” or how Flacco outdueled Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on the road. Or how he always saved his best performances for the postseason.
Most importantly, Flacco gave the Ravens something they had never had – stability behind the center. His 163 games played are by far the most in franchise history. Kyle Boller is the only other Ravens quarterback to play more than 50 games. Steve McNair only gave them two seasons. Flacco gave the city of Baltimore a decade.
Ravens fans will remember Flacco for being “Joe Cool”, defined by his composure in all circumstances. They’ll remember him for being a tough guy in the pocket. And of course, for the greatest postseason any NFL quarterback has ever had.
Flacco once tore his ACL and MCL during the last drive of a game and still managed to hustle his team down the field for a game-winning field goal. Ultimately, if you could sum up his tenure in Baltimore with one moment (other than the Super Bowl), that would be it. Flacco might not have been Manning, Brady, Joe Montana, or Aaron Rodgers. But he was good enough with the Ravens.