While it was nice and all for the Baltimore Ravens that they were able to turn around their season and finish off on a 6-1 run, making it to the postseason after installing rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson into the starting lineup, it was clear all along that the Heisman Trophy winner at some point would be overmatched as a passer.
That was never more evident than in Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wildcard Round, in spite of a pair of late touchdown drives accounting for over three quarters of his passing yardage after the Ravens feel behind by three scores in a game that shouldn’t have even been that close.
Jackon’s struggles were so significant that there were calls for Head Coach John Harbaugh to insert former starter Joe Flacco already beginning in the second quarter. He even admitted after the game that he considered doing so, but ultimately chose not to.
Jackson showed life late, against a defense that was up by three scores and frankly making mistakes, and that was enough for the Ravens and Harbaugh. When the head coach was asked about Flacco’s future—he is still under contract in 2019—he talked about the market for the former Super Bowl MVP.
Not that it should be any surprise. Once Jackson was declared the starter, you knew there would be no turning back. Jackson’s time has come, and whatever will happen will happen.
“Lamar is our quarterback moving forward, there’s no question about that”, Harbaugh said. “Joe Flacco is going to do really well in this league. Joe can still play. I think we saw that the first half of the season. Joe’s going to have a market”.
It’s never a good sign when a coach is asked about your future on the team and he says that you’re “going to have a market”. Expect Flacco to be traded in March.
“A lot of teams are going to want Joe because they understand that and I’ll be in Joe’s corner wherever he’s at”, his soon-to-be former head coach said. “Joe Flacco is a great talent. He’s an even better person. He’s the best quarterback in the history of the Ravens no question. That’s not even just because I’m biased, that’s just a fact”.
While that’s true, the Ravens also do not have an impressive history at the quarterback position, so calling him the best is not really saying much. Could he possibly help out a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars, or perhaps even the New York Giants? Maybe. But as I go through the teams, it’s hard to find many other fits. There may be 3-4 teams at most who would be interested in him, and those teams would probably want the Ravens to eat some of his salary.