When the Baltimore Ravens signed veteran QB Marc Bulger to serve as Joe Flacco’s backup, the assumption was that Troy Smith and John Beck would battle it out for the club’s #3 quarterback job.
But I’m not so sure about that.
Smith and Beck will certainly get plenty of preseason playing time, but ultimately I wouldn’t be surprised if they were both cut or traded before the regular season. Given the uncertainty on the defensive backfield and Coach John Harbaugh’s penchant for keeping top special teams’ performers on the 45-man game day roster, there simply may not be a spot for either Smith or Beck.
Many Ravens fans may not know it, but new WR Anquan Boldin played QB during his career at Florida State and also operated as the emergency QB for the Arizona Cardinals. An unexpected side benefit of having Boldin is his experience under center, which gives Baltimore the option to keep an extra player on their active roster.
Through his first two NFL seasons, Flacco has proven to be remarkably durable. If Flacco were to go down from inury for an extended time period, chances are Smith or Beck wouldn’t be able to lead the team in a similar fashion. However, Bulger serves the team as an experienced backup who could fill in for Flacco for an extended time period.
Boldin’s presence would eliminate the need for an emergency 3rd-string QB and since Flacco is only 25, the Ravens have no need for a developmental QB. These factors could spell out an end for Smith and Beck.
UPDATE: Well, looks like this post has foretold a not-so-distant future. John Beck was recently traded to the Washington Redskins for CB Doug Dutch.