National Football League
Joe Flacco 'grateful' for Colts opportunity, but surprised he won't be in Cleveland
National Football League

Joe Flacco 'grateful' for Colts opportunity, but surprised he won't be in Cleveland

Updated Mar. 22, 2024 6:04 p.m. ET

After an unexpectedly successful stint as the Cleveland Browns quarterback last season, Joe Flacco is a "little bit" surprised to be heading to Indianapolis

The 39-year-old is entering his 17th season in the NFL and officially signed a one-year, $8.7 million deal with the Colts on Friday to serve as backup for returning starter Anthony Richardson

While Flacco is grateful he even has a spot in Indy — considering this time last year he wasn't fielding any offers during free agency — he's surprised he's not staying in Cleveland.

"It was obviously a little bit different than last offseason, when I didn't get any calls at all," Flacco told NFL media. "But even this offseason, I wasn't really sure how it was going to go. It wasn't like I played a ton of games last year or anything like that, but definitely grateful for Indy to reach out and have this as an opportunity."


Flacco signed with the Browns in November of 2023 following Deshaun Watson's season-ending glenoid fracture in Week 9, and he then took the team to the postseason.

In February, Browns general manager Andrew Berry reported that Watson would be throwing again in March, and eluded to the QB's return to the field in the spring.

Before signing with the Colts, Flacco said he would ‘definitely’ stay in Cleveland, which would have made him Watson's backup. Now, he'll fill the No. 2 spot behind Richardson, which is a role he's pretty familiar with.

"I've kind of been in this role for a handful of years now," Flacco said. "Obviously, last year was a little bit different cause I wasn't anywhere, I was able to come in and play pretty quickly. But yeah, it's just about being in the room with him and a lot of conversations naturally come up when you spend so much time together in a row. It's just kind of … being able to bring the experience and being able to help him simplify things and go out there and play fast and use his skill set the way he wants to."

Flacco was a first-round draft pick by the Ravens and spent 10 years in Baltimore. The 2023 AP Comeback Player of the Year bounced around the league from 2019-2022 before being called in to rescue the Browns last season, which he finished with 1,616 passing yards and 13 passing touchdowns.

Even though he is on yet another one-year deal, Flacco is just excited to be doing what he loves.

"When you have something that you love to do, and you enjoy putting in the work and all that, I don't know too many people that would give that up to try to go do something else or figure out what else that may be," Flacco said.

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