The Denver Broncos decided to create a bit more competition at the quarterback position heading into the 2019 NFL offseason. On Wednesday, the team agreed in principle to a trade which will bring Joe Flacco to town from the Baltimore Ravens. In turn, leaving the status of 2018 starter Case Keenum up in the air.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the news, citing that the teams agreed on the deal, but that it cannot be processed until the new league year begins. This comes on Wednesday, March 13 and means that neither team can comment on the deal until that date.
It’s tough to gauge what the deal will include in terms of compensation, and we won’t know for a month either. It’s likely the trade involves draft picks in some capacity, but Flacco’s contract may not result in multiple picks being sent to the Ravens.
UPDATE: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Broncos are sending a mid-round pick to the Ravens.
Broncos Quarterback Depth Chart After Joe Flacco Trade
- Case Keenum
- Joe Flacco
- Kevin Hogan
- Garrett Grayson*
The Broncos previously had Chad Kelly on the roster prior to his arrest last season for first-degree criminal trespassing. He was released after this, and the team opted to go with Keenum and former Cleveland Browns quarterback Kevin Hogan. The quarterback situation in Denver will be one to monitor as it shapes up heading into the offseason, but you’d have to assume Keenum will at least begin the year as the starter.
It’s not all that surprising to see the Broncos take a big swing at quarterback, especially considering Keenum’s contract structure. John Elway and company released former first-round pick Paxton Lynch during the previous offseason, which left the team somewhat short on depth at the position.
Broncos’ Expensive Quarterback Duo
Denver opted to signed Keenum in 2018 free agency to a two-year, $36 million deal which will come with a cap hit of $21 million this season. If the team were to outright release him prior to the upcoming year, they’d be hit with $10 million in dead cap, but would still free up $11 million in space due to the large deal, per Spotrac.
The acquisition of Flacco means he’ll almost certainly compete for the starting job, and his contract is big as well. According to Over The Cap, Flacco has a cap number of $26.5 million this year, $28.25 next year and $24.25 in 2021.
There are multiple ways for Denver to get out of Flacco’s deal down the line. Fortunately, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter detailed, Flacco has no guaranteed money left on his current deal.