Wednesday's NFL: Ravens to deal Flacco to Broncos
Joe Flacco has gone from Broncos tormentor to savior. The Ravens agreed to trade the veteran quarterback to the Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, a person with knowledge of the agreement told the Associated Press.
NFL rules prohibit teams from discussing trades until the start of the league year March 13.
Flacco, the Most Valuable Player of the 2013 Super Bowl following a miraculous win at top-seeded Denver, became expendable in Baltimore with the emergence of rookie Lamar Jackson, the former Louisville star who led the Ravens into the playoffs after Flacco got hurt.
The Broncos again needed an upgrade at quarterback after Case Keenum’s middling debut in Denver, where a 6-10 finish led general manager John Elway to turn to Vic Fangio, his fourth head coach in six years. Now, he’s landed his seventh quarterback since Peyton Manning’s tearful retirement following Denver’s victory in Super Bowl 50.
The others all bombed: draft picks Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly, trade acquisition Mark Sanchez and Keenum, who threw for 18 touchdowns and a career-high 15 interceptions last season to go with a career-high 34 sacks.
Flacco has three years and $63 million left on his contract with a salary of $18.5 million next season, which is 10th-highest in the NFL at his position. His cap hit of that same amount is 21st among the league’s QBs.
Flacco, who turned 34 last month, has played all 11 of his seasons with the Ravens after being selected 18th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. He started immediately as a rookie and was Super Bowl MVP after the 2012 season, guiding the Ravens to a victory over San Francisco in the championship game during a playoff run that included that “Mile High Miracle” in Denver.
Flacco was the starter last season until he injured his right hip in a loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 4. The Ravens had a bye the following week, and Jackson took over for the still-ailing Flacco on Nov. 18 against Cincinnati. Jackson produced wins over the Bengals, Raiders and Falcons before a 27-24 loss to Kansas City on Dec. 9.
Brown’s asking price?
The Steelers can realistically expect to receive a Day 2 draft pick, meaning second or third round, for disgruntled receiver Antonio Brown, according to a report from ESPN.
The report cites unnamed NFL executives, who agree that the Steelers will ask for a first-round pick but will be hard-pressed to get that given Brown’s off-field antics of late.
Brown’s salaries of $12.625 million in 2019, $11.3 million in 2020 and $12.5 million in 2021 do work in the Steelers’ favor, however.
Brown, 30, officially requested a trade this week, after months of issues between him and the Steelers. He even missed the team’s season finale.
“Thank you SteelerNation for a big 9 years...time to move on and forward,” Brown said in a Twitter post Tuesday.
Brown, a Central Michigan alum, was drafted in the sixth round in 2010, and has played all nine of his seasons with the Steelers, topping 1,000 receiving yards in seven of those season, including in 2019. His career bests are 136 receptions and 1,834 yards and 15 touchdowns (2019). He led the league in receiving yards in 2014 and 2017.
Gov. Larry Hogan has abandoned talks to persuade the Washington team to build its next stadium on a Maryland site currently owned by the federal government.
... Placekicker Josh Lambo signed a four-year contract extension with the Jaguars, keeping him from hitting free agency next month.
... Defensive end Steven Means signed a one-year contract extension with the Falcons after making four starts in 2018.
... The 49ers released offensive lineman Garry Gilliam.
News staff and wires contributed