Joe Flacco Handles Decision to Stick with Lamar Jackson With Class

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco sat embedded in a spot that has become commonplace on Sunday – the bench. The Ravens were 6-1 since rookie Lamar Jackson supplanted Flacco as the starting quarterback and the team veered deeper into its run game with Jackson under center.

But after a ho hum first half against the fiery Los Angeles Chargers in which the Ravens were down 12 points and Jackson threw for -2 yards, calls for Flacco swelled.  The Baltimore crowd booed the slog of an offense, and CBS analyst Tony Romo made it known that he believed Flacco should have been brought in to replace the 21-year-old rookie. After all, Flacco is a former Super Bowl MVP.

John Harbaugh stuck with Jackson, which almost paid off as the rookie and entire Ravens offense came to life in the 4th quarter. After the Ravens lost 23-17,  Flacco was naturally asked his reaction to remaining on the bench. His response exuded class and leadership.

Flacco went on to share one of his messages to Jackson in the midst of the game: “I told him, ‘Listen, finish strong. At some point, you’re going to be proud of how you finished no matter what happens.'”

Flacco declined to speculate on his future but the sentiment that his days as a Raven are over was pretty clear from Harbaugh, as this is Jackson’s team now. Harbaugh was confident that Flacco would have a hearty market in the offseason, calling him the “greatest Ravens QB of all-time.”

Flacco also spoke in the past tense when asked if he was a message for Baltimore, a question he answered with a heavy does of class “I love the people of Baltimore, man. To be honest, I can’t imagine a better 11 years. This place becoming my home and my children’s home. Definitely a group of fans and a community that I loved to be around for 11 years.”

It’s going to be an interesting quarterback market in the offseason with Flacco near the center.