Today’s trade between the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos lit up the NFL hot stove a few weeks before free agency. After 11 years with the Ravens, Joe Flacco is headed to Colorado.
As a result of the trade, Denver will look to move on from Case Keenum, preferably through trade. Flacco has three more years on his deal, though Denver could potentially get out of that after one year if they want to go in a different direction.
Time will tell if investing in the 34-year-old Flacco, even if it is only for a season, will be worth it. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell doesn’t seem to think it will be.
Barnwell gave the Broncos a D+ grade for the trade in his ESPN breakdown. It isn’t pretty.
Barnwell’s entire breakdown of the trade (he gives the Ravens a B+, by the way) can be seen here and is worth a read. Here’s a statistical glimpse of why he hates it some much for the Broncos.
Flacco has posted exactly one above-average season by passer rating or net yards per attempt since his incredible run to the Super Bowl in 2012. His Total QBR over that six-year stretch is 53.8; among the 20 passers with 2,000 or more pass attempts over that time frame, the only quarterbacks Flacco beats out are Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, Derek Carr and Blake Bortles. (Keenum’s QBR over that time on 1,844 attempts is 51.5.)
Flacco has 5,670 career pass attempts with an ANY/A+ of 94. He has been a slightly below-average quarterback over the course of his 11-year run. Having turned 34 in January, it’s hard to believe he is suddenly going to get better over a multiyear run, especially given the lack of talent the Broncos have on offense.
Flacco is pretty far removed from his 2012 Super Bowl season. John Elway’s recent track record with QBs leaves a lot to be desired.
Personally, I’m inclined to agree with Barnwell and say this trade won’t work out for Denver, but we won’t know for sure until next season.