According to a recent report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Denver Broncos are expecting Joe Flacco to be healthy enough to play in 2020, as he returns from a neck injury.
News and notes from around league on NFL Live…Joe Flacco undergoes MRI, Broncos confident he can play next year (in DEN or elsewhere); Kareem Hunt confident he’s in Browns’ plans for 2020; CU’s pursuit of Eric Bieniemy; Bucs’ attempt to retain Shaq Barrett could lead to tag pic.twitter.com/d18dHuTXuV
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 18, 2020
Even if Flacco is healthy enough to suit up next season, it would be surprising if it was for the Broncos. He is due $23.65 million next season if kept on the roster and that is way too much for a backup. However, that cap hit drops to $13.65 million if Denver decides to release or cut him.
That being said, Flacco could be open to restructuring with the Broncos, as the odds of him finding a starting job elsewhere are incredibly low.
The free-agent talent pool is deeper than ever at quarterback with veterans like Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill and more all available. Those six guys will take up six of the available starting jobs and most of the remaining jobs will be filled by the draft with five more quarterbacks projected in the first round.
With the starting jobs all taken, it makes sense for Flacco to restructure his deal, as finding anything close to the deal he currently has on the open market will be nearly impossible. The league’s highest-paid backup quarterback is Brian Hoyer, who is being paid just $4 million per season by the Colts.
If Denver believes they can still rely on Flacco, they could possibly find some middle ground that would make sense for both sides financially, but the odds of that happening seem slim to none.
The Broncos are ready to move on with Drew Lock at quarterback, and with his age and the change to Pat Shurmur’s system, Flacco isn’t an ideal backup to Lock.