The Baltimore Ravens traded back into the first round of the 2018 NFL draft to select Lamar Jackson, who is now the likely successor to Joe Flacco. Although the immediate question is when Jackson will take over, head coach John Harbaugh isn’t focused on anything more than this season.
ESPN’s Jamison Hensley notes Harbaugh said he’ll let the future dictate how the quarterback room is handled.
“You take it one year at a time in this league. You want to predict the future? Great, that’s cool. I get it. But the future is going to come and it can predict itself, really.”
Ideally, the Ravens will be confident in Jackson after the 2018 campaign. That would allow the franchise to release Flacco next offseason and save $10-plus million for 2019.
According to Spotrac, Baltimore would save $10.5 million if Flacco is waived prior to June 1 or $18.5 after that date.
Flacco is expected to start in 2018. If he fails to drastically improve, though, it makes both fiscal and roster sense to move on. Over the last three years, Flacco has averaged just 6.3 yards per attempt and thrown 52 touchdowns compared to 40 interceptions.
Now that the Ravens have a legitimate long-term option behind him, Flacco’s days as the starter could be numbered. Wisely, Harbaugh isn’t putting a timeline on a switch. But he understands the reality of the situation.