Report: Joe Flacco Has 'Gotten the Message' After Ravens' Pick of Lamar Jackson

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2018

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco answers questions at a press conference after an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Baltimore, Sunday, Dec 31, 2017. The Bengals defeated the Ravens 31-27. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Gail Burton/Associated Press

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has reportedly "gotten the message" after the team drafted Louisville QB Lamar Jackson with the No. 32 overall pick in April.

Peter King of the MMQB reported: "That's what I hear. And he's too smart not to have gotten it. Flacco, 33, understands the trade-up pick of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson means the Ravens have noticed his sub-.500 record and 82.4 passer rating in the past three years, regardless how much is his fault."

As King pointed out, the Ravens offense has grown stale and become boring to watch, finishing 29th, 12th and 29th in passing offense the past three years.

He wrote: "When I saw this pick, I said I bet this is about more than dissatisfaction with Flacco. It's about making the team exciting again in a market that has grown blase, and throwing some changeups with an electric quarterback. Flacco will get the first shot, and he may well play well enough to beat back Jackson. We'll see."

Flacco, 33, threw for 3,141 yards, 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2017, completing 64.1 percent of his passes. But he should have more weapons in 2018. The Ravens were busy in free agency, signing wide receivers Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown.

Additionally, the team drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews and wideouts Jaleel Scott and Jordan Lasley to bolster the offense.

If Flacco can't make it work with his new stash of options in the passing game, however, the Jackson era may begin. Whereas Flacco is a more traditional dropback passer, Jackson's ability to create on the move and break down defenses with both his arms and legs would shake things up offensively.

It's hard to imagine the Ravens traded back into the first round to keep the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner on ice for long. Flacco will be the front-runner to earn the starting gig in 2018 as Jackson learns Baltimore's offense, but the leash has never been shorter in Flacco's career. Any goodwill he's engendered by winning a Super Bowl in the 2012 season has likely expired in Baltimore.

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