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  • The Joe Flacco era is almost certainly over in Baltimore. What other changes could be coming for the Ravens this offseason?
By Conor Orr
January 07, 2019

BALTIMORE — It was not lost in the aftermath of a playoff loss here in the concrete organs of M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. A season was over, and the familiar mistiness that comes with a team congregating for the final time had not even materialized before hard business was attended to.

Believe it or not, the most sought-after quarterback and coach this offseason may have left the stadium together on Sunday afternoon. Joe Flacco will almost certainly be dealt, or released in the coming months. John Harbaugh did not waver on one thing in his post-game press conference: Lamar Jackson is the team’s future, and Flacco “will have a market.”

“It’s not really up to me,” Flacco said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Also, John Harbaugh has reportedly been courted by a large number of teams with head-coaching vacancies—he would have to be traded for. When asked if he would remain in Baltimore, Harbaugh said, “I don’t believe [there is a question about my future]. I don’t believe so. There’s a bible verse that basically says ‘make no oath.’ No one can say what tomorrow can bring other than God. Deo volente. The only two Latin words I know. The two most important. To me, we’ll see, we’ll see what God has in store. But I have every expectation, every plan to be here as long as the Ravens want me here, and I believe they want me here. And I believe that’s been made clear by them to me over the last few weeks.”

Think of the 12 teams in the playoffs this season. Making it this far usually gives a quarterback and coach some modicum of stability; the rare sense that you will be in the same place a few months from now. But the Ravens are different. Circumstances on the wide-open coaching market have made Harbaugh an attractive candidate. Jackson made Flacco expendable. Both Super Bowl winning coaches and quarterbacks emerge on the market in their prime (or with a little left in the tank) rarely.

There may not be a more foreign-looking postseason team at the start of the 2019 season.

And even if Harbaugh remains, it seems there will be decisions made to fortify the offense around Jackson. He talked hopefully about becoming a better downfield passing team, and play-action team, but aspired for more soundness when it comes to ball security and drilling the routine machinations of an option offense.

In other words, it may be one of those rare post-game locker rooms where players should have hung around a little more and soaked it all in. Many eras could be coming to an end soon.

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HOT READS

NOW ON THE MMQB: The Chargers defense was ready for Lamar Jackson this time. ... Eagles are playing with house money this postseason. ... Flacco was considered, but in the end, Baltimore rode with their rookie. … The Freakout: Wild-card edition.

WHAT YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: The Colts offensive line was beautiful on Saturday. … How Sean Lee fostered Dallas’s dynamic young duo at linebacker. … Going long on the legend of Nick Foles.


PRESS COVERAGE

1. The spiciest meatball in the coaching crock pot right now may be cooking in Tampa Bay.

2. Allen Hurns tells NFL Network he’ll be “good to go” next season after the most gruesome ankle injury I have ever seen.

3. John Elway is blocking teams from interviewing stashed former head coach/personnel adviser Gary Kubiak.

4. Anyone else ready to run through a brick wall for this guy?

5. The biggest AP first-team all pro snubs.

6. Player stops wearing clown mask many of us didn’t know he was wearing often in the first place.


THE KICKER

HAPPY MONDAY. Stay out of the nonsense.

Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.

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