Is John Elway a Elite GM?

Flacco Traded to Broncos

The Baltimore Ravens agreed to trade quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos Wednesday afternoon for an undisclosed mid-round draft pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The trade will not be finalized until March 13th, when the new league year begins.  The soon-to-be former Raven is best known for under throwing deep routes and stumbling into large gains via pass interference penalties. He also won Super Bowl XLVII.  Flacco will go to a Broncos team that went 6-10 last year, recording their second losing season in a row and first time with back-to-back sub .500 records in decades.

The Broncos and General Manager, John Elway, clearly needed to try something new. So he traded for a 34 year old who was Wally Pipped by a rookie. A rookie who finished the season with a QBR of 45, making him the 31st ranked quarterback in the league. There are 32 teams in the NFL. Strong start.

The NFL is a quarterback driven league, everyone knows this. Your success and failure is dictated by your signal caller. If you are without one, you have little to no chance of relevancy, regardless of the talent the rest of your roster possesses. So making a move for a veteran with a ring under his belt makes sense when you have no in-house option right? Certainly does. Of course, that would require you forget about the guy, Case Keenum, you gave $36 million to just last year, which it seems they have no problem doing. As we all know, the best thing you can do when you have a bad veteran quarterback with bad contract is trade for another bad veteran quarterback with an even worse contract. Score another win for John.

At least the deal Keenum signed only runs through the next season. Not so bad. They surely front loaded the contract with all the guarantees in year one so they can just walk away with little to no negative cap implications. Nah, cutting Keenum would result in the Broncos still paying a sizable amount of the remaining year’s value. Basically, Denver would be giving him $7 million just to go away. I’ve never been more jealous of a man named Case. Oh, and because of the signing bonus he received last year when he finalized the contract, the cap hit for the Broncos next year will be even higher, up to $10 million total. They could always potentially find some rube willing to trade for him which would lower the cap hit to $3 million.  That’s still not nothing and also requires Denver finding someone else dumb enough to not only pay Case Keenum the full $18 million dollars next year, but also give up an additional draft asset for the right to pay Case Keenum $18 million dollars. None of this seems likely. But maybe I shouldn’t say that, after all this is the league that inexplicably kept perennial disappointments Marvin Lewis and Hue Jackson around, while also paying a washed up, overrated Jon Gruden $100 million for some reason.  As the great Kevin Garnett once said, anything is possible.

Maybe Flacco will pull a Peyton Manning and find his HGH fountain of youth in Denver.  Leading the Broncos to a thrilling season of underthrown passes, wounded ducks and not at all played out and definitely still hilarious commercial endorsements, all culminating in another championship for the Mile High faithful. He does have better receivers to work with and a solid defense. Maybe he still has one more run in him and will surprise us all.  Or maybe the Broncos are on their way to their third losing season in a row and still no answer at the most important position in the game.  Either way, I’m here for it.

Written by Josh Hans

Josh Hans is a contributor to The Schpiel.


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