The NFL offseason has already seen a number of surprising moves less than three weeks after Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta.
The Baltimore Ravens announced that they will be trading quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos once the new league year begins on March 13. The details of the trade are not yet official, but Flacco will likely be exchanged for a mid-round draft pick.
The Ravens drastically changed their team identity when they benched Flacco in 2018 for rookie Lamar Jackson, who pioneered a consistent ground attack. Baltimore won their last three games with Jackson to qualify for the postseason. The trade solidifies his role as their franchise quarterback moving forward.
Flacco, meanwhile, cemented his legacy with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions during Baltimore’s run to the Lombardi Trophy after the 2012 season. But Super Bowl 47 is a distant memory and Flacco’s performance since has been generally pedestrian.
Denver seems to think they can revitalize his career in a tossup move that may be motivated by panic. There are not many quarterback available in the draft and they certainly will not find a reliable option with their tenth overall pick. They failed miserably last season with their acquisition of free agent Case Keenum and will have to pay him in 2019 as well.
Denver’s defense is still one of the best in the AFC and will likely get stronger under new head coach Vic Fangio. It is certainly a risky move, but it could pay off big time if the 34-year-old Flacco thrives in a new atmosphere.
One of the new options at quarterback will soon be Kyler Murray. The Oklahoma Sooner officially made a decision to pass on baseball and declare for the NFL Draft. Despite the fact that he is a 5’9 quarterback, teams will be more than willing to take a chance on the Heisman winner to run their offense. If he is drafted in the first round, he will be the first person ever drafted in the first round of both the NFL and MLB Drafts (He was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in 2018).
In a surprising move, former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt has signed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns. Hunt was released by the Chiefs in November when a video surfaced of the 23-year-old shoving and kicking a woman in a hotel hallway.
Hunt remains on the NFL Commissioner’s exempt list for the time being while they continue to investigate the incident. He led the league in rushing during his rookie season in 2017 and is an interesting addition to an up-and-coming Cleveland offense.
Lastly, the Colin Kaepernick saga, for the time being, appears to be at an end. Kaepernick settled his case against the NFL for an undisclosed amount. He also reportedly asked for 20 million dollars to play for the new professional football league, the Alliance of American Football, and is also still open to continuing his career in the NFL.
Kaepernick has been making national headlines for over two years since choosing to kneel during the National Anthem prior to games in 2016 in protest of police brutality against African Americans.