Flacco the Latest Project for Elway

Kyle Orton. Tim Tebow. Peyton Manning. Brock Osweiler. Mark Sanchez. Paxton Lynch. Trevor Siemian. Chad Kelly. Case Keenum. And now, official as of March 13, the date of the new league year, current Baltimore Raven, Joe Flacco.  flacco 2

These ten names are the the Denver Broncos’ quarterbacks acquired since 2011 when GM and President of Football Operations, John Elway, started in his current administrative role. Elway won two Super Bowls as quarterback for the Broncos in a 16 year career that culminated with enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, Elway’s success as a pro quarterback has not assisted in him finding the next great Broncos’ signal caller.

With the exception of signing Manning as a free agent in 2012, a no brainer, Elway’s trades, signings, and drafting of quarterbacks have been far from illustrious. An aging Manning brought Elway a Super Bowl in 2015 before riding off into retirement like Elway finished his career after the 1998 season.

No quarterback under Elway, other than Manning, has won a playoff game besides Tebow in his rookie season of 2011. Elway realized Tebow was not going to bring Denver a Super Bowl so he shipped Tebow off to the New York Jets in 2012 and handed the offense over to Manning.

Since Manning’s retirement, Elway has traded for Sanchez, drafted Lynch in the first round, and selected Siemian and Kelly in the seventh round in consecutive drafts. He threw the checkbook at Keenum in free agency inking him to a two-year, 36 million.

None of these acquisitions have even come close to success prompting many to wonder if Elway has a clue when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks. Now, Elway has created a quarterback controversy trading a mid round pick for Flacco who, like Elway, is a former Super Bowl MVP.

Flacco lost his starting quarterback spot to rookie Lamar Jackson this past season due to injury and was not able to win the job back upon his healthy return. His stats have continued to decline since signing a huge free agent contract in the 2012 offseason.

Meanwhile, Keenum tossed the second-most interceptions in the league and was 29th-ranked in yards per attempt.

There is no more guaranteed money on Flacco’s contract which carries base salaries of $18.5 million for 2019, $20.25 million in 2020 and $24.25 million in 2021. Add in Keenum’s base salary of 18 million this season and Elway has $36.5 million tied up on his top two quarterbacks. It is safe to assume only one of the quarterbacks will be on the roster this season.

The Broncos have the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft. Will the trade for the strong-armed, 34 year-old Flacco prevent Elway from drafting a quarterback in the first round? Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, and Missouri’s Drew Lock are considered first-round talents. If any of them are on the board at ten, does Elway pull the trigger?

Your guess is as good as mine. Elway has made it perfectly clear he has not yet figured out a formula for selecting the next great Broncos’ quarterback. Flacco is his latest example.

And that’s as I see it!


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Photo credit: nbcsports.com


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