John Elway is trading a 4th round pick for Joe Flacco, and most of the national reaction has been amusement or bewilderment. This seems to be more of the same in the post-Manning years, where Elway is still grasping for answers, this time by turning to a 34-year-old who has not been very good recently.
But there is one man out there trying to put all the positive spin that can possibly be stomached on this one. Mike Klis, who wrote for the Denver Post for nearly 18 years and is now with 9news.com, is on a mission to serve as John Elway’s hype man.
Although Flacco is now one of the NFL’s older starting quarterbacks, he has played all 16 games in a season in nine of his 11 years. Sources told 9News the Broncos also discussed the possibility of Philadelphia’s Nick Foles, who was also available for trade, but Elway and the team deemed Flacco a better fit for a couple of reasons.
One, Flacco has played extensively under center while Foles was mostly a shotgun-spread QB when he finished strong each of the past two seasons with the Eagles. In the Scangarello West Coast-type offense, the Broncos’ center will play from under center plenty.
And two, Flacco was considered a better financial value than Foles, who is expected to command north of $25 million a year. Flacco will make $18.5 million in 2019 – which makes him the NFL’s 10th-highest paid quarterback, a ranking that figures to drop after Foles and the rookie draft class sign their new deals. Flacco is also scheduled to make $20.25 million in 2019 and $24.25 million in 2020. The contract will not be revised. Given the soaring QB market, Flacco’s deal is team-friendly.
Oh my. This is not a team-friendly deal. Also, even the top rookie deals average less than $7 million per year.
Joe Flacco has had the lowest yards per attempt of any QB over the last four years. He’s missed parts of two of the last four seasons with injuries. Paying him anywhere near a Top 10 salary is just lighting money on fire. At least they can cut him next offseason before paying more. But then they traded a fourth round pick for one year and to pay more than Green Bay pays Aaron Rodgers for one year of QB play, between Flacco’s salary and the likely cap hit from getting rid of Case Keenum.
Here are the lowest yards per attempt figures for quarterbacks, all-time, for a quarterback from age 30 to 33.
Mark Rypien, also a Super Bowl winner, was equally bad as he aged, and never started a game after age 33. Marc Bulger also retired by now. Jay Schroeder retired at age 33. Neil O’Donnell started three games total, across three seasons, as a backup, after his 34th birthday. Jack Kemp came back for one more season and averaged under 6 yards per attempt. Joe Ferguson went 1-10 as the starting QB for the Buffalo Bills at age 34, and then was a backup. Roman Gabriel went 7-17 as a starter from age 34 to 36, with a yards per attempt under 5.6 every year. Greg Landry started two more games, and Boomer Esiason went 2-10 in his final year with the Jets at age 34, with a 5.8 yards per attempt average, then went to Arizona and started 8 games, before retiring after a return season to Cincinnati to backup Jeff Blake.
So what I’m saying is, Joe Flacco’s outlook is not good.
But let’s go on with Klis:
Okay, we can hope the past four years don’t matter.
Elway is executing the plan, folks. He didn’t just wake up and flip a coin.
If those guys can stick around at the same productivity as they had in their early thirties, why can’t Flacco? Oh wait, never mind, no team would want that.
Now there’s the good stuff. Did Elway know that Mark Sanchez is also available? That guy is killer on the road in the playoffs.
Make sure to thank Elway, err, the source, for passing this text on personally.
Again, If Belichick and Brady can do it, the Broncos totally have a solid plan in place here.
As a Chiefs fan, I hope he remains in charge forever. The Broncos are one of two franchises (Buffalo is the other) that has not drafted a pro bowler yet in the last six drafts.
One has to wonder what Klis gets out of all of this in exchange for carrying water. We know it’s not the scoop that the trade is occurring, because Adam Schefter and other national writers were on it first.