Although Joe Flacco is recovering from a neck surgery that is expected to keep him out of action for months, he agreed to terms with the Jets on Friday. The former Ravens and Broncos quarterback will sign a one-year deal, according to his agency (Twitter link).
This will add an experienced arm for a Jets team that previously featured a thin depth chart behind Sam Darnold. The Jets did re-sign David Fales and drafted James Morgan in Round 4 this offseason, but Flacco (if healthy) obviously offers a higher floor. After expressing interest in Andy Dalton, the Jets landed his longtime AFC North rival.
Flacco’s deal will be worth $1.5MM with incentives that could bring the price up to $4.5MM, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The 12th-year veteran is also expected to be ready to participate in training camp, though Schefter tweets the former Super Bowl MVP likely will not be medically cleared until September.
Talks between Flacco and the Jets transpired for weeks, according to Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter). The Eagles also showed interest earlier this offseason but backed off after the draft, Caplan adds. Philadelphia drafted Jalen Hurts in the second round.
A Flacco deal during the COVID-19 pandemic — when teams cannot have their medical staffs examine players — certainly proves interesting. Cam Newton remains in free agency. But the former certainly represents a cheaper option. Jets GM Joe Douglas has extensive familiarity with Flacco. Douglas was with the Ravens as their northeast area scout when they drafted Flacco out of Delaware in 2008. Douglas was still with Baltimore when Flacco turned in his career-defining playoff run that secured the franchise’s second Super Bowl title four years later.
The former Division I-FCS standout is now 35 and will arrive in the Big Apple after some injury-marred seasons. After a torn ACL ended his seven-plus-year start streak in 2015, Flacco battled back trouble in 2017. Though he played 16 games that year, the Delaware alum missed time with a hip malady in 2018 and saw Lamar Jackson take his job. Flacco’s Broncos season stalled after eight starts, and Denver subsequently pivoted to Drew Lock.
Gang Green has struggled at backup quarterback for years. They went 0-6 in games Darnold did not start over the past two years, and the previous regime’s investments in Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg — who backed up Ryan Fitzpatrick and then Josh McCown — did not work out.
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