Joe Flacco

Jets’ Joe Flacco Won’t Be Ready For Week 1

Joe Flacco has been cleared to throw, but the quarterback says he won’t be ready for the start of the Jets’ season. In an interview with SiriusXM, Flacco explained that his exact timetable is still up in the air. 

[RELATED: Jets, Joe Flacco Agree To Deal]

I can’t speak to exactly when I’m going to be ready, but it will not be day one,” Flacco said (transcript via ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini). “Obviously, we’ll get with the doctors and I have another checkup come August, so we’ll see where that goes.”

Sources tell Cimini that Flacco could get the go-ahead for contact sometime in September. However, he won’t be able to play in Week 1, when the Jets are slated to open up the season against the Bills in Buffalo.

Flacco, 35, joined the Jets on a one-year deal with a base value of $1.5MM. With bonuses, he could earn up to $4.5MM. The Jets are happy to have Flacco in the fold, but they hope that he won’t have the opportunity to earn those incentives. Ideally, Sam Darnold will stay healthy for the duration of the year in what would be his first ever 16-game slate.

First and foremost, I want to help the team in any way possible and also be a guy Sam can lean on, that he can learn from,” Flacco said. “I would say those are the two most important things: Help out the guys on the team and help out Sam to do all they can…For me, personally, I want to play football. I’ve had some things happen, got injured and had to have surgery. I have to find my way back into the league. I want to play for years to come. I think these guys have given me a great opportunity and hope I can make the most of my situation and make the most of whatever my role ends up being.”

With David Fales, rookie James Morgan, and Mike White also on the QB depth chart, the Jets can probably afford to stand pat under center even if Flacco needs more time to recover than expected.

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Jets’ Joe Flacco Cleared To Start Throwing

New Jets quarterback Joe Flacco has been medically cleared to start throwing again, according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter).  The team also believes that the veteran will be on course for contact by early September. In the meantime, he’ll be able to toss the ball and prepare for the 2020 season.

[RELATED: Cowboys Not Interested In Jamal Adams?]

The Jets inked Flacco to a one-year deal on Friday, bringing him in as a veteran backstop to starter Sam Darnold. Flacco will be at the ready in case Darnold misses more time and he also figures to serve as a mentor to the soon-t0-be 23-year-old. Earlier in his career, Darnold had a similar dynamic with Josh McCown.

The Jets’ first choice for the QB2 role was Andy Dalton, but the Cowboys beat them to the punch. After that, Flacco stood as the most attractive option. Or, at least, the most attractive and realistic option. Cam Newton is still waiting for the right opportunity and he would have cost significantly more than Flacco. The ex-Broncos QB and former Ravens star signed on for just $1.5MM, though performance bonuses could take him up to $4.5MM. Outside of those notables, May’s free agent QB market included the likes of Blake Bortles, Drew Stanton, 2019 Jet Trevor Siemian, and Matt Moore, who was not high on their list despite his relationship with head coach Adam Gase.

With Flacco in the fold, the Jets will have some decisions to make in the QB room. Currently, they have David Fales, fourth-round pick James Morgan, and former Cowboys Day 3 pick Mike White on the roster.

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Jets, Joe Flacco Agree To Deal

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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Jets Searching For Backup QB

After failing to land Andy Dalton, the Jets are still on the lookout for a veteran backup quarterback. There aren’t many experienced options left and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com hears that Matt Moore – viewed by many as a logical candidate – is probably not in the cards.

[RELATED: Jets Wanted Andy Dalton]

Moore overlapped with Gase in Miami, where he started in 17 games. However, 12 of those starts came in the 2011 season. Outside of that, the 35-year-old (36 in August) has never made more than five games in any of his NFL seasons. Despite his lack of starting experience, he’s been an in-demand backup in the past – the Panthers and Chiefs have also leaned on him as a QB2.

With Dalton off the market, Moore off the table, and Cam Newton out of their price range, there aren’t a ton of great QBs in the bargain bin. David Fales could be an option, Cimini notes, since he played under Gase with three different teams. There’s also Joe Flacco to consider, if he’s healthy.

Other available QBs include Blake Bortles, Drew Stanton, and Trevor Siemian, who saw last year’s Jets season end in Week 2. The Jets desperately need a quality backstop for Sam Darnold, but they might have to wait until the summer, or maybe even the end of the summer, to pick up vets dropped by other teams.

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Jets Notes: Mosley, Bell, Flacco

Jets safety Jamal Adams remains a trade candidate, but count linebacker C.J. Mosley as a high-profile member of the defense that wants Adams to stick around.

“[Trading Adams] would be a crazy move,” Mosley said (via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com). “First of all, he’s one of the leaders on the team. … To have that presence in the secondary, a guy that can make plays in the passing game and also plays in the backfield — in the box — that’s always exciting.” 

Mosley himself — who played in just two games in his first year with Gang Green after signing a massive free agent contract last offseason — said he feels great and expects to be at full health for training camp (assuming there is a training camp, of course).

Now let’s take a look at a few more Jets-related items:

  • Another big-name player who looks like a trade candidate is running back Le’Veon Bell. Bell disappointed in his first season with the Jets, and many believe he will be released after the 2020 campaign, which would allow the club to realize a significant cap savings with a fairly minimal dead money charge. But if the Jets look like non-contenders at the trade deadline, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv expects them to put Bell on the trade block in the hopes of recouping some sort of draft compensation for him.
  • The Jets addressed one of their biggest needs in the first round of the draft by adding massive Louisville LT Mekhi Becton. Becton may be more raw than some of his fellow LT prospects, but he also has a tremendously high ceiling, and he could be protecting Sam Darnold‘s blind side right away. However, free agent acquisition George Fant hopes to fill that role in 2020. Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Fant wants to play on the left side, though the former Seahawk also indicated he is willing to play RT if necessary (Twitter link). “Right now I’m just ready for an opportunity,” Fant said.
  • GM Joe Douglas signed WR Breshad Perriman in free agency and added a high-upside receiving prospect in Denzel Mims in the draft, but Brian Costello of the New York Post believes the Jets could look into re-signing Demaryius Thomas. Thomas, 32, wants to continue his playing career, and though he is nowhere close to the player he once was, he proved himself to be a strong locker room presence in 2019 and could be a good mentor for Mims.
  • Veteran QB Joe Flacco may not be recovered from his neck surgery until late August or mid-September, but Cimini believes he would be a good fit for the Jets. In the same piece linked above, the ESPN scribe says New York must add a veteran backup for Darnold, and Douglas — who championed Flacco as a member of the Ravens’ staff in 2008 — could take a look at the former Super Bowl MVP.
  • Betty Wold Johnson, the mother of Jets owners Christopher Johnson and Woody Johnson, has passed away at the age of 99, as Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes. Though Betty Johnson did not have a formal role with the team, she was considered the club matriarch and was beloved by players and execs.

Joe Flacco Undergoes Neck Surgery

Joe Flacco‘s Broncos season ended early because of a neck injury, and the free agent quarterback underwent a procedure recently. The veteran quarterback had neck surgery in early April, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets.

The rehab from what NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero described as a 45-minute operation will sideline Flacco until late August or potentially mid-September (Twitter link). This could certainly delay Flacco’s opportunity to catch on with another team for a while.

The Broncos released Flacco in mid-March and plan to go with Drew Lock as their 2020 starter. Denver traded a fourth-round pick for the longtime Baltimore passer last year but saw Flacco’s season end after eight games. He only played in nine with the Ravens in 2018 but was healthy enough to return later that year.

While the 35-year-old quarterback could return to the backup radar at some point this offseason, this figures to keep him parked in free agency for the time being. Although the NFL released a statement indicating facilities could reopen during the offseason, the uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic has caused disproportionately affects injured players. Teams being unable to have their medical personnel examine players has kept Cam Newton on the market as well. Flacco is now squarely in this boat.

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The Top QBs Left In NFL Free Agency

Just after the NFL Draft, Jameis Winston found his new NFL home by signing a low-cost one-year deal with the Saints. Even with the former No. 1 overall pick off the market, there are still several notable names left. Here’s a rundown of some of the passers available here in May:

  1. Cam Newton: A slew of injuries have hampered the one-time MVP and the ongoing pandemic has prevented clubs from having their team doctors take a close inspection. Newton has gone under the knife multiple times throughout his career, including surgeries to his throwing shoulder and left foot. While Winston settled for a deal to serve as a backup – and perhaps a QB3 – Newton is still pushing for a starting job. Right now, there aren’t any clubs willing to hand him a QB1 gig, so he’ll probably have to wait this one out or temper his expectations. The Patriots, who currently have Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham as their top QBs, could be a fit, but there hasn’t been much movement on that front yet.
  2. Joe Flacco: Was Flacco an elite quarterback in his prime? That question will plague the football world forever. What we do know is that Flacco profiles as an experienced and inexpensive backup option for teams in need. The 35-year-old was sidelined for the second half of 2019 – his first season with the Broncos – and waiting for an opportunity to open up. At one point, Flacco was asked about his thoughts on the Eagles. But, with Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts, Nate Sudfeld, and Kyle Lauletta on the depth chart, that no longer seems like a fit.
  3. Blake Bortles: Despite all of his flaws, the Jaguars handed Blake Bortles a three-year, $54MM deal in 2018 with $26.5MM guaranteed. One year later, they pushed him out the door for Nick Foles, leading him to L.A. After throwing a grand total of three passes last year, the former No. 3 overall pick is looking for a solid backup opportunity. The Rams have several QBs under contract behind Jared Goff, but there could still be an opportunity for him to return.
  4. Mike Glennon: With a dearth of quality QBs on the market in 2017, Glennon landed a three-year, $45MM deal with the Bears. Now 30 with a career 6-16 record, he’ll come for a lot cheaper. He earned just $1MM in base pay last year with the Raiders.
  5. Cody Kessler: Even after Tom Brady bid farewell, the Patriots decided that they didn’t need the former fourth-round pick on the roster. He’s got 12 career starts on his resume – unfortunately, the first eight came with the 2016 Browns.
  6. Trevor Siemian: We haven’t heard Siemian’s name mentioned recently. Fortunately, he’s said to have made a full recovery from his brutal Week 2 ankle injury.

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Joe Flacco Open To Joining Eagles?

If the Eagles give Joe Flacco a call, it sounds like he’ll pick up the phone. When asked about the possibility of signing with Philly, the free agent quarterback indicated that he’s open to flying with the Eagles. 

“I grew up with it. All my friends live and die with the Eagles,” said the South Jersey native (Twitter link via ABC’s Jeff Skversky). “There definitely be a lot of very cool things about that. You never know what the future holds.”

At this stage of his career, the one-time Super Bowl MVP profiles as a backup quarterback. The 35-year-old has been hampered by injuries for years – he missed time in 2015, played through back pain in 2017, and missed more time in 2018. In 2019, his first season with the Broncos, Flacco suffered a serious neck injury that sidelined him for the second half of the year.

Before that, Flacco turned in a 65.3% completion rate, the best of his career. However, he threw just six touchdown passes against five interceptions. In March, the Broncos waived him to take his $20.25MM in base salary off of the books for 2020. By dropping Jersey Joe, the Broncos saved $10MM+ against the cap with $13.6MM in dead money.

Given Carson Wentz‘s injury history, the Eagles can be expected to spend on a backup. They have ample cap room for the coming year and too many dollars committed for 2021, so they’ll likely target veterans on one-year deals. As it stands, Nate Sudfeld is slated to serve as Wentz’ QB2, but he has just $500K guaranteed on his new contract. Flacco could be a fit, but his friction with former Broncos offensive coordinator and current Eagles assistant Rich Scangarello may be a barrier.

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Broncos To Waive Joe Flacco

The Joe Flacco era in Denver is over. The Broncos will waive the quarterback with a failed physical designation, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). 

Flacco will join a crowded quarterback market after a rocky stretch with the Broncos. Injuries have hampered Flacco throughout his career and its only gotten worse as of late.

The former Super-Bowl MVP missed time in 2015 and 2018 and also played through back pain in 2017, but his latest neck injury was especially serious. In early November, the Broncos shut the signal caller down for the second half of the season. Up to that point of the campaign, Flacco had completed 65.3% of his passes. While that was an impressive number, he also threw just six touchdown passes against five interceptions.

Now 35, Flacco is set to enter his 13th NFL season. To date, he’s played in 171 games with 218 touchdowns vs. 141 interceptions. The memed “elite” debate aside, he’s accomplished a ton, including 15 career playoff starts and a Super Bowl victory.

Flacco and Jameis Winston are among the high-profile QBs still available in free agency. Meanwhile, Andy Dalton and Cam Newton are on the trading block.

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Broncos Expected To Trade Or Release QB Joe Flacco

It sounds like Joe Flacco‘s stint in Denver will end after one season. Mike Klis of 9News in Denver reports (via Twitter) that the organization is expected to release or trade the veteran quarterback by the end of the week.

We heard back in February that the organization was confident the veteran could play next season. However, his 2020 contract calls for $20.25MM in base salary, so it would have required a pay cut for him to stick around Denver. That boat apparently sailed when the organization added quarterback Jeff Driskel earlier this evening to serve as a backup to Drew Lock.

Barring a new deal, the Broncos can release Flacco to save $10MM+ against the cap with $13.6MM left in dead money. Clearly, the team would prefer to find a trade partner, but that’s probably easier said than done.

Injuries have hampered Flacco throughout his career. He missed time in 2015 and 2018 and also played through back pain in 2017, but his latest neck injury was especially serious. In early November, the Broncos shut the signal caller down for the second half of the season. Up to that point of the campaign, Flacco had completed 65.3% of his passes. While that was an impressive number, he also threw just six touchdown passes against five interceptions.

The 35-year-old will be entering his 13th NFL season in 2020. The veteran has appeared in 171 games, tossing 218 touchdowns vs. 141 interceptions. He’s also started 15 career playoff games, including four during the Ravens’ 2012 run to a Super Bowl championship.

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