The writing had been on the wall for months, had come into stark relief in recent weeks and was read aloud by coach John Harbaugh on Wednesday.
The Joe Flacco chapter in Baltimore is, for all intents and purposes, closed.
This day had been inevitable ever since the Ravens selected quarterback Lamar Jackson with the final pick of the first round in April's draft. And when Flacco's merely adequate play and subsequent hip injury created an opportunity for Jackson to start, the rookie ran with it — literally and figuratively — on the way to three wins in four weeks, a stretch that revitalized the squad and has them poised to overtake Pittsburgh for the AFC North lead.
Jackson is now, officially, the man.
But whither Flacco, whose future is obviously elsewhere?
His contract runs through the 2021 season, his subsequent base salaries — which average $21 million per year — of the non-guaranteed variety. Flacco is a patented playoff performer (10-5 in games that matter most) and famously carried Baltimore with his money-making, title-minting hot streak to cap the 2012 season — an effort that culminated with his Super Bowl XLVII MVP trophy.