ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Joe Flacco has gone from Denver Broncos tormentor to savior.
The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to trade the veteran quarterback to the Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round pick in this year's NFL draft, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Wednesday because neither team announced the deal, which was first reported by ESPN. NFL rules prohibit teams from discussing trades until the start of the league year on March 13.
Flacco, the MVP of the 2013 Super Bowl following a miraculous win at top-seeded Denver, became expendable in Baltimore with the emergence of rookie Lamar Jackson, the former Louisville star who led the Ravens into the playoffs after Flacco got hurt.
The Broncos again needed an upgrade at QB after Case Keenum's middling debut in Denver, where a 6-10 finish led general manager John Elway to turn to Vic Fangio, his fourth head coach in six seasons.
Now, he's landed his seventh quarterback since Peyton Manning's tearful retirement following Denver's win in Super Bowl 50.
The others all bombed: draft picks Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly, trade acquisition Mark Sanchez and Keenum, who threw for 18 TDs and a career-high 15 interceptions last season to go with a career-high 34 sacks.
Flacco has three years and $63 million left on his contract with a salary of $18.5 million next season, which is 10th-highest in the NFL at his position. His cap hit of that same amount is 21st among quarterbacks in the league.
The Broncos could trade Keenum and save $18 million next season. Releasing him would produce $11 million in savings but cost them $7 million. Keenum signed a two-year, $36 million deal in Denver last season with $25 million guaranteed.
Either way, Elway's deal for Flacco continues his build-but-don't-rebuild ethos. The Broncos have a solid core of young stars and a still superior defense led by Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. that Elway believes can keep up with the Chargers and Chiefs in the AFC West with the right quarterback leading the way.
They wanted a proven veteran such as Flacco or Nick Foles, another Super Bowl MVP.
At 34, Flacco is four years older than Foles but he's been durable, starting all 16 games in nine of his 11 NFL seasons. The other years he started nine and 10 games. Foles has started more than eight games just twice in his seven NFL seasons.
Fangio also knows Flacco well, having served on Baltimore's coaching staff during the quarterback's first two seasons there.