48

How fast is the (Lamar Jackson) clock ticking for Joe Flacco?

Over the previous two decades, all 56 quarterbacks taken in the first round were given a shot to start within three years of being drafted.

How fast is that clock ticking for Flacco?

It depends on Flacco’s play this season and Jackson’s development. Flacco could be the next Alex Smith who starts for another season and then gets traded.new nfl nike jerseys There’s a chance Jackson sits for two years and waits to step into the starting role in 2020.

“You take it one year at a time in this league,” coach John Harbaugh said. “You want to predict the future? Great, that’s cool. I get it. But the future is going to come and it can predict itself, really.”48

Under a one-year plan, Baltimore parts ways with Flacco after this season, receiving $10.5 million in salary-cap space (or $18.5 million if Flacco is released or traded after June 1). If Flacco rebounds in his first healthy season since 2014 or simply plays better in reaction to the drafting of Jackson, the Ravens could deal him like Kansas City did with Smith. This offseason, the Chiefs sent Smith to the Redskins for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round draft pick, freeing up $17 million in cap space and handing the starting job to first-round pick Patrick Mahomes in his second season.

The key here is Baltimore being confident in Jackson’s growth to make him the starter after one year. Over the previous 10 drafts, every one of the 27 quarterbacks selected in the first round had started either in his first or second year in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The amount of time Jackson needs to develop is undetermined, even to the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner.

“I can’t tell you,” he said.nfl football jerseys wholesale “I just want to get that playbook in my hands as soon as possible and get to it.”

Another scenario is Flacco remains the starter for the next two seasons, especially if he plays well with his improved supporting cast. Flacco’s base salary in 2019 will be $18.5 million, which probably won’t rank in the top 10 among quarterbacks by next year. But he would still have to earn that by performing better than his previous five seasons, a period in which he has thrown the second-most interceptions (74) in the NFL.