How much is this going to cost?
This is another fair question.
Flacco is set to count $18.5 million against the Broncos’ cap this year. That price point will reportedly not be negotiated.
That would mean Flacco goes into the 2019 offseason as the 10th-highest paid quarterback in the league. Is he a top 10 quarterback anymore? No, but some of the league’s best quarterbacks are still on rookie contracts. As far as quarterbacks on their second contract, the price point of $18.5 million is relatively average, which is fitting for what Flacco has brought to the table in recent years.
Beyond and including 2019, Flacco has no guaranteed money on the contract the Broncos are inheriting. More so than the Case Keenum deal, Flacco’s contract is ideal for bridging the gap to a young quarterback because the Broncos don’t have to worry about dead money on a contract.
After 2019, Flacco has cap hits of $20.025 million and $24.25 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Prior to making any sort of move with Case Keenum, absorbing Flacco’s $18.5 million would mean the Broncos currently are looking at allocating $39.1 million of their 2019 salary cap at the quarterback position.
Keenum will count $21 million against the cap if nothing happens with his contract and the team just keeps him around. That is not going to happen.
The Broncos could ask Keenum to re-do his deal, which also doesn’t seem likely because he’s not going to get to start in Denver anymore.
If they cut Keenum, he will count $10 million against this year’s cap, meaning the team would be investing at least $28.5 million at quarterback, not including whatever they choose to bring in through the 2019 NFL Draft.
If Keenum is traded — and this is by far the best scenario — he wil only count $3 million against the Broncos’ cap. If this happens, the investment at QB goes from $21 million with just Keenum to $21.5 million with $18.5 million going to Flacco and $3 million to Keenum.
Financially, that would mean the Broncos would be adding just $500,000 to potentially upgrade the position (as they see it).