Joe Flacco: Breaks Silence on Returning to Browns

Joe Flacco gushed about the Cleveland Browns and gave some insight on his future during a rare podcast appearance this week.

Flacco joined Big Cat and PFT Commenter on the “Pardon My Take” podcast on January 18 and had nothing but good things to say about his time with the Browns.

“How lucky was I to get on a team that was ready to make a run like that and to be around a bunch of great guys in the locker room,” Flacco said. “There was something special about being there and how people treated me. I felt a lot of love and my family did as well. … You could feel the excitement in the city. They are craving some playoff wins and a chance at that Super Bowl.”

Flacco provided a spark for the Browns’ offense in the regular season, going 4-1 in his starts while passing for 1,616 yards, 13 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He play allowed the injury-plagued Browns to lock up their first playoff spot since 2020.

But the feel-good story of the season came to a screeching halt in the postseason. Flacco tossed a pair of costly pick-sixes against the Houston Texans during a 45-14 Wild Card thumping.

The 39-year-old Flacco isn’t ready for the Wild Card loss to be the end of his story. He made it clear he wants to continue to play and just wants an opportunity.

“I know I still want to play. But it’s just a matter of getting the opportunity to do it,” Flacco said on the podcast. “You don’t know if that’s going to come and in what ways it will present itself. But definitely reinvigorated to get back out there and do it.”

Flacco spent the first few months of the season on his couch, throwing to family members to stay in shape. His phone didn’t ring with any opportunities despite quarterback injuries around the league but Flacco is not dwelling on that. After all, the call from the Browns turned out to be the right opportunity at the right time.

“It’s tough. I think when you’re around the league, you see a bunch of things happen. Not everything makes sense,” Flacco said of not getting an opportunity until mid-November. “For me, it’s tough to think about the calls I didn’t get because I did end up getting one and it ended up being a really good one.

“You want to be in a good situation with good football players and good coaches. I think that’s what I was put in.”

Flacco’s play created a brief QB controversy in Cleveland. He had the Browns’ offense humming, putting some pressure on Cleveland’s $230 million quarterback, Deshaun Watson.

Watson has passed for 2,217 yards, 14 touchdowns and 9 interceptions through two seasons with the Browns. He’s appeared in 12 games total. His most recent campaign was derailed by shoulder injuries. Watson had surgery to repair a displaced fracture to the glenoid in his right shoulder on November 21 but is expected to be ready for the start of camp next season.

This year proved the Browns need a solid option to backup Watson. Fifth-round rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson has some potential but still needs time to grow. One more year of Flacco serving as the backup to Watson could be beneficial. Kevin Stefanski showered Flacco with praise but isn’t ready to talk about his quarterback situation going forward just yet.

“I’d leave all those things up to, obviously, [general manager Andrew Berry] in the offseason,” Stefanski said on January 14. “I will say this about Joe. Joe was awesome for this football team. He did a great job, battled like crazy. I know he enjoyed it. I have a ton of respect for Joe and what he was able to do.”

Multiple players have voiced that they’d like Flacco to be back. However, Flacco will likely seek out a situation where he can start. That won’t be in Cleveland with Watson’s return looming.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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