About Joe Flacco to The Broncos
There are some concerns here if you’re Denver.
For starters, Flacco is 34 years old. He is not a mobile quarterback, so if Denver’s offensive line doesn’t improve, things could get ugly in the pocket. Additionally, he’s battled injuries lately. He tore his ACL and had a back injury in recent years, just to name two of the more serious problems.
Flacco’s contract isn’t terrible in the sense that it doesn’t contain any guaranteed money, but he’s certainly not cheap. He’ll cost the Broncos $18.5 million in 2019, $20.25 million in 2020 and $24.25 million in 2021. Those are his salaries and his cap hits.
The Broncos presumably will be moving on from Keenum at this point. Cutting Keenum will cost the Broncos $10 million in dead cap space while saving them $11 million in salary cap space, most of which will go to dealing with Flacco’s contract.
More problematic is the question of whether or not Flacco is actually good. Flacco has literally never led the NFL in a single meaningful passing category. Not even interceptions. He’s a tall, strong-armed quarterback who can wing the ball downfield. But he’ll be working with young receivers, as Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton profile as his top weapons.
Put Flacco in the right system, with his tools (which, admittedly, aren’t as impressive as they were even three seasons ago, but the guy can still throw some dimes), and it’s easy to envision him having enough success to lead a competent offense. Well, the Broncos happen to be running the right system. New offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello comes from the Shanahan/Kubiak coaching tree. Flacco played under Gary Kubiak for one season in Baltimore and produced what was easily the best year of his career. Obviously, there’s no guarantee that Scangarello, who most recently worked as Kyle Shanahan’s QB coach in San Francisco, will be as good a play-caller as Kubiak of the younger Shanahan, but there is some reason for optimism.
Flacco isn’t great at moving within the pocket and he doesn’t see the field all that well, but the Shanahan/Kubiak system limits the importance of those two traits. The quarterback is given a lot of either-or reads off play-action, and a lot of those throws take place outside of the pocket, where, paradoxically, Flacco is actually quite good at making throws while on the move.
It seems that oddsmakers aren’t very impressed with Joe Flacco.
After watching the Broncos pull off a surprising trade for the Ravens quarterback on Wednesday, Denver’s Super Bowl LIV odds actually got worse at one sportsbook, which basically tells you all you need to know about how oddsmakers feel about Flacco.
Before news of the trade broke on Wednesday morning, Bovada had Denver’s odds of winning the Super Bowl next season listed at 100-1. Those odds were made with the presumption that Case Keenum would be the team’s starting quarterback. After the trade went down, not only did Bovada drop the Broncos odds to 125-1, but they also improved the Ravens Super Bowl odds from 30-1 to 28-1.