Were it not for Joe Flacco, it’s fair to say that recent Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed may well have retired without having ever won a Super Bowl title. While he may never have been a top five quarterback at any point in his career, the Baltimore Ravens quarterback did have one bizarrely exceptional postseason run in 2012 that culminated in his receiving a Super Bowl MVP award.
But the Ravens missed the postseason in four of the five seasons that followed posting a 40-40 record overall in that time, the vast majority of which Flacco was under center for. He was 4-5 as a starter in 2018 before suffering a hip injury that allowed for the transition to 2018 rookie first-round pick Lamar Jackson.
And Jackson proceeded to help the team go on a 6-1 run, finishing 10-6 and as champions of the AFC North, by a hair. They may have subsequently been beaten by the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wildcard Round, but it signaled a change, and the Ravens have been very clear not only that Jackson is their quarterback moving forward, but that Flacco will not be on the roster in 2019.
Of course it would be silly, given his cap hit. Even if they couldn’t trade him, they would still release him, but many expect them to be able to get at least a second-round pick for him, with likely landing spots including Jacksonville, Denver, and Washington.
For Reed, Jacksonville is the one that makes sense. With the Jaguars seemingly having accepted the reality that Blake Bortles is not their answer, Reed told TMZ that he thinks his former teammate could help push that team over the top to Super Bowl status.
The Jaguars continue to have one of the top defenses in the league, but their offense really bottomed out last season, largely coinciding with injuries to Leonard Fournette and—shockingly—poor play from Bortles at the quarterback position.
“He helped me win a Super Bowl”, he said, referring to the 2012 run in which he threw 11 touchdowns passes with no interceptions for 1140 yards and a quarterback rating of 117.2. “We wouldn’t have won the Super Bowl if he was turning the ball over”.
While he said that it’s “already” Lamar Jackson’s team, he denied that Flacco is a backup at this point in his career, saying “he’s a starting quarterback in this league”.
“Flacco might be in Jacksonville if he wants to win another Super Bowl”, he said. I don’t know about that—and if the Jaguars do want to trade for him, then they had better put some talent around him, which the Ravens often failed to do—but I think it’s fair to say there are starters out there right now who are worse.