Ravens to trade Joe Flacco to Broncos, per report

Joe Flacco

If this whole Joe Flacco thing doesn't work out for the Denver Broncos, well...we told you so. Does he represent enough of a marked improvement from Case Keenum to constitute an upgrade, or is this another example of a competitive general manager allowing his inner-player to get the best of him?

The Denver Broncos reached an agreement with the Baltimore Ravens to trade for quarterback Joe Flacco, as first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Flacco's finest moments came at the end of the 2012 season as he threw 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the postseason to guide the Ravens to a Super Bowl XLVII title.

According to reports, the Broncos are likely to send a fourth-round pick to Baltimore. He's due $16 million this season, but the Broncos can trade or release him for an $8 million salary cap penalty.

Last year, the Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs agreed on a trade for quarterback Alex Smith (going to the Redskins) well before the start of the league year in mid-March.

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Essentially, the Broncos have Flacco under control for three years at (mercifully) significantly less than current market value for starting quarterbacks. When the deal is completed, the Ravens will save $10.5 million in cap space. The Ravens were 4-5 under Flacco before Jackson led them on a 6-1 tear to earn a playoff appearance.

Now, say Elway decides to select a quarterback with the Broncos' 10-overall pick.

On the field, this trade means the Packers will play against Flacco when the Broncos visit Lambeau Field next season. Flacco turned 34 last month and lost his starting job after an injury this past season, and despite Elway's continued resistance to saying he is rebuilding, the Broncos eventually have to have a plan that goes beyond the upcoming season at their most important position.

Elway is always in what he calls win "from now on" mode, and Flacco's arrival will be just more proof of that.

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