The decision of the Ravens to trade back into round one and select quarterback Lamar Jackson sent a clear signal to plenty of people. One of the intended recipients was Joe Flacco. And I think. He gets. The point.
Via Peter King of SI.com, Flacco has “gotten the message.” He knows that the team is reacting to a “boring” Salisbury Steak and steamed spuds offense that “excite[s] no one.”
Some think that Flacco will still get all of 2018 to turn things around, given his salary and cap number. King suggests it’s hardly a given, writing that “Flacco will get the first shot, and he may well play well enough to beat back Jackson.”
Here’s the thing: The Ravens seem to be determined to give Jackson a chance to play, probably in a “Slash”-style role like the one Kordell Stewart filled as a rookie in Pittsburgh 23 years ago. Once Ravens fans get a taste of what Jackson can do — and if he can do it well — they’ll want more.
Some in the organization may want more, too. Remember, the Ravens were considering taking Jackson with the 16th pick in the draft. So they have big plans for Jackson, and those plans include giving them a way to justify cutting the cord on Flacco.
Then there’s this: Flacco financially had Baltimore by the marbles five years ago, and Flacco squeezed. Hard. Then, when his contract needed to be restructured, he squeezed again. Harder. If he’s performing at a high level, there’s no danger of the Ravens squeezing back. Now that Flacco has shown some slippage, the Ravens may soon get a chance to settle scores with Flacco, and they likely won’t hesitate to do it, especially if the rookie plays in Baltimore like he played in Louisville.