Is this the end of the road for Joe Flacco?

Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images /

After being waived by the Denver Broncos, is this the end of the road for Joe Flacco?

On Wednesday, after they signed Jeff Driskel, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and Mike Klis of 9News reported the Denver Broncos were likely to release Joe Flacco. The move officially came on Thursday, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting Flacco has been waived with a failed physical designation.

Flacco opened his lone season with the Broncos as the starting quarterback, going 2-6 in eight starts before a neck injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. He completed over 65 percent of his passes with six touchdown and five interceptions, along with averaging just 6.6 yards per attempt.

Drew Lock went 4-1 as Denver’s starter late last season, so he is entrenched as the guy going forward. The writing was clearly the wall for Flacco, with the ability to clear just over $10 million in cap space by cutting him (with a $13.6 million dead money hit) regardless of his medical status coming of the neck injury. Being replaced on the depth chart by Driskel says it all.

Flacco did not need neck surgery, and Broncos’ doctors have apparently not checked him out since last season ended. But with no fully guaranteed money left on his contract, the decision to release him was too easy for Denver.

Leaving aside any health concerns, Flacco has simply not been very good since a well-timed run to Super Bowl MVP in 2012. He bet on himself that year, and signed a six-year, $120.6 million contract the following March. Over the last seven seasons, he has delivered 246.5 passing yards per game while averaging 6.5 yards per pass attempt.

Flacco may be able to latch on somewhere as a backup, and he has said he wants to continue playing. The list of suitors won’t be long though, with the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals standing out as possibly willing to consider him.

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But neck injuries are nothing to mess with, and Flacco has also said he won’t risk his long-term health to keep playing. So if he finds little or no market for his services in the coming days or weeks, a decision to retire may naturally follow.