According to unofficial reports, the Ravens will trade Joe Flacco to the Broncos, likely for a 4th-round draft pick. The details cannot actually be confirmed until the league year begins in a month.
I’m a Ravens fan, and I have been since I can remember there being a team here in Baltimore. (The Colts left town four years before I was born.)
I remember the 2000 Super Bowl, when Ray Lewis led that vaunted defense to an ass-whooping of an unprepared Giants team.
But I was also pretty young that year. I didn’t start really paying close attention to the Ravens, and football in general, until college. My first two years in college coincided with the explosion of my Ravens fandom. First, the team went 13-3 with Steve McNair at the helm, and lost a terrible game to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Colts.
Then, they slid to 5-11 under Head Coach Brian Billick, who had clearly lost the trust of the team, and especially the defense. They hired John Harbaugh and drafted Joe Flacco in 2008, right as I was getting into following the players coming out of college, and especially those going to my team.
Flacco and Harbaugh represented a new era, and they brought another Super Bowl to Baltimore in 2012. I defended Flacco through his often turbulent regular seasons, holding onto the hope that he could be recognized as an elite QB in the league.
The last few years, however, I began to slowly, begrudgingly, step off the Flacco bandwagon. When the Ravens drafted QB Lamar Jackson out of Louisville last year, I knew Flacco’s run in Baltimore was coming to an end.
Jackson proved he could be a starting QB, and he invigorated a stagnant offense. I had a gut feeling that Flacco would not return to the team. And as unfortunate as that is, it was necessary for the Ravens to move forward.
I’m disappointed that he’s leaving Baltimore, as exciting as Jackson is. But I’m glad that Flacco is going to a good situation in Denver where he can hopefully revive his career a bit in his last few seasons.
I don’t ever expect Flacco to read this, but if he does: Thanks man. You brought a lot of hope and a lot of success to the Ravens. Forget about the often too-harsh criticisms you heard while you were in Baltimore. That 2012 Super Bowl run, and the Ravens’ great playoff runs throughout your career, would not have happened without you.
I believe you can bring the same hope and success to the Broncos.