HomeTrade RumorsJoe Flacco, Browns Quarterback, Aiming to Continue Playing Next Season

Joe Flacco, Browns Quarterback, Aiming to Continue Playing Next Season

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We discussed the money aspect of new Browns’ starting quarterback Joe Flacco‘s one-year contract with Cleveland a couple days ago. Now, let’s take a look at the length of Flacco’s newest deal. According to Flacco’s agent, Joe Linta, Flacco is only on a one-year deal in order to maximize his leverage in free agency so that he can play next year, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

To reiterate, Flacco’s contract is an incentive-laden one that can earn him as much as $4.05MM. A lot of the cash is tied into wins. For the regular season, Flacco is making an additional $75K for each win, while that price escalates with each round of the postseason. And, while Flacco is certainly focused on going 1-0 each week, that isn’t stopping him from also considering his future. You read that last paragraph correctly, Flacco, at 38 years old, has every intention of playing in the 2024 season.

Now, there are a couple of teams starting quarterbacks on expiring contracts. The Vikings have Kirk Cousins playing on a contract year, and Baker Mayfield is on a one-year tryout with the Buccaneers. Minnesota hasn’t loved what they’ve gotten out of Joshua Dobbs so far and likely won’t be looking to Nick Mullens as the quarterback of the future. Tampa Bay has another year on former second-round pick Kyle Trask‘s rookie deal but chose Mayfield to take over under center this season. Realistically, these teams with an opening at starter are likely going to be pursuing options coming out of college with more long-term potential. But, if either team doesn’t fall in love with anyone at their range of picks, Flacco could serve as an effective one-year rental.

More realistically, there are a number of team’s who have been forced to rely on backup quarterbacks this season, and some of those quarterbacks are on expiring deals, as well. The Titans seem set to move forward with rookie second-round pick Will Levis and don’t seem to have much faith in Malik Willis moving forward, while Ryan Tannehill‘s deal is set to expire. Other teams with young starters whose backups are bound for free agency are the Commanders (Jacoby Brissett), Eagles (Marcus Mariota), 49ers (Sam Darnold), and Colts (Gardner Minshew). Other teams who have been forced to face the importance of a backup quarterback despite having established starters this year are the Seahawks and Saints, and both Drew Lock and Jameis Winston are in contract-years, as well.

Many of those teams will likely re-sign their respective backups to another one-year deal. If one or another puts forth a strong outing in relief, they may even earn themselves a multi-year contract. Familiarity is a big factor in the decision of appointing a backup quarterback, so those who are already with a team will have an advantage. Regardless, any of these squads may see what Flacco is doing in Cleveland and decide that he is an upgrade over what they currently have on the roster.

Seeing what we’re seeing from Flacco right now, it’s insane to think that some teams in the NFL were fully content with what they had on the roster. After injuries to (or benchings of) quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Joe Burrow, Daniel Jones, Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, and Cousins, we saw many teams attempt to make it work with what they had on the roster while Flacco’s agent, Linta, was furiously calling these front offices and banging the table for his quarterback, according to Jason La Canfora of The Washington Post.

In an interview, Linta even admits to begging Jets general manager Joe Douglas to give his guy a shot. “I really couldn’t get anyone at the top to give him a shot,” Linta said of him efforts. “I begged (Douglas). I mean, Joe played pretty well for (the Jets in 2022), but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t get anything going. Nothing.”

Eventually, though, the Browns answered the call, bringing in Flacco to keep their playoff hopes alive and potentially save their season. Despite throwing three picks today, Flacco showed the cool composure of a 16-year veteran, leading the Browns to another win. If he keeps this up, he will almost certainly earn himself another chance to play in 2024. Flacco may be the next on a relatively short list of quarterbacks to play into their forties.

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