Broncos' Elway says Flacco 'just going into his prime'
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Despite watching Joe Flacco get benched in 2018, Denver Broncos general manager John Elway believes the 34-year-old quarterback still has plenty left in the tank.

With Denver's trade for the longtime Baltimore Ravens pivot finally official, Elway offered insight into why the veteran passer was targeted.

"We really feel like Joe has a lot of football left in him," Elway told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. "(Former Broncos coach) Gary (Kubiak) was with him three or four years in Baltimore in his system and was very successful with that. So we thought that with the availability and what the compensation was (a 2019 fourth-round pick), that Joe was going to be a very good fit for us.

"He's played under the center, his arm strength is still great, he can still throw the ball downfield, a he's a guy who's won," Elway continued. "He's proven he can win in this league and has a tremendous amount of experience. So at 34 years old, we thought he was just going into his prime, so we're excited that Joe is here."

Though Flacco is experienced - he's started 163 games over the last 11 seasons - his level of play appears to have declined in recent years.

Year Starts Completion % Passing Yards TD INT QB Rating Yards per Attempt
2016 16 64.9 4317 20 15 52.7 6.4
2017 16 64.1 3141 18 13 49.8 5.7
2018 9 61.2 2465 12 6 58.7 6.5

The former Super Bowl MVP was benched for rookie first-rounder Lamar Jackson last season after the Ravens went 4-5 through nine games.

Flacco has three years remaining on his current deal, and is fully expected to open the 2019 season as Denver's starting quarterback.

Broncos' Elway says Flacco 'just going into his prime'
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