So what did adding a former Super Bowl MVP do to those odds?
Elway joined the Broncos as an executive in January of 2011, and he signed National Football League legend Peyton Manning the following spring. Head coach John Harbaugh seemed to make clear after the Ravens' playoff loss that the team was going with Jackson and there would "be a market" for Flacco. He helped lead the team to victory in Super Bowl XLVII and was named Super Bowl MVP in the process.
The trade can not officially be processed until the new league year begins March 13.
And there are plenty of questions still to answer. What happens with Case Keenum? He has one year remaining on a two-year, $36 million contract, with $6.5 million of his $18 million due for 2019 guaranteed if he is released. Elway has selected a quarterback in five of the last seven NFL Drafts, and those five players have made a combined 39 starts and delivered 19 wins. In his last four seasons as starter he went 24-27 after a 72-40 mark in his first seven. Flacco, remember, also has dealt over the past two seasons with a disc issue in his back. However, with Flacco's lack of upside and the draft looming, this could only be the first move in the Broncos' plan to develop another quarterback of the future.
Thankfully for Elway and Fangio, they're not alone in thinking Flacco is legit: President Trump once called Flacco a "very elite" quarterback. Rookie first-round pick Lamar Jackson took over for Flacco and didn't relinquish the starting role. It doesn't get them any closer to solving their long-term quarterback problem, but outside of lucking out on Manning, Elway hasn't proven able to do that, anyway. "That's why I don't like to use that word, because it sounds like an excuse".
Because it's Elway, we're not discounting anything, just as he hasn't in his continued quest to stabilize the position he manned better than anyone before or since in Broncos history.