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Here’s Why Browns Fans Should Get Over Joe Flacco Leaving Cleveland

There’s an old saying around here that goes, “The most popular person in Cleveland is the backup quarterback.” Never has that seemed so true.

Well, at least for Joe Flacco.

The Cleveland Browns signed veteran quarterback Jameis Winston earlier this week. Winston will backup starter Deshaun Watson in the upcoming 2024 NFL season.

Yesterday it was announced that Flacco, the reigning Comeback Player Of The Year, signed a 1-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts.

The moves, for most Browns fans, were startling.

But… why?

Sure, Flacco revitalized his career by signing with the Browns last season. In six starts he threw for 1923 yards with 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Decent numbers? Sure. But when you dive a little deeper into the context of these statistics then you may not be as impressed with Flacco’s performance as you originally thought.

For starters, Flacco went 4-2 but got his 4 wins in perhaps the weakest portion of the Browns’ schedule. Here’s the list of quarterbacks Flacco beat in 2023:

  • Trevor Simien (Jets)
  • Davis Mills (Texans)
  • Justin Fields (Bears)
  • Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars)

The combined record of those quarterbacks was 16-20.

Flacco’s two losses, however, were against playoff teams with their starting quarterbacks. He lost to the Rams (Matt Stafford) and the Texans (with starter CJ Stroud, who missed the first game between the two teams).

In addition, Flacco was a turnover machine. He threw at least 1 interception in every game he played. He threw 2 or more picks in 3 of the 5 games, and perhaps most damning, he threw 2 pick-6s in the playoff game against the Texans.

Listen, Joe Flacco did a fine job filling in under short notice for the Browns in 2023. He played perhaps the best ball of any fourth-string quarterback in NFL history. But does that mean he should be a lock to stay the backup behind Deshaun?

Nah. I don’t think so. And neither does the Browns front office.

Now, I’ll concede that Winston isn’t necessarily an upgrade over Flacco. And with their contracts essentially being the same – 1 year each, each worth up to $8.7M – deciding between Winston and Flacco to back up Deshaun was basically a wash.

But the outrage from Browns fans who are upset that Cleveland didn’t keep Flacco is quite ridiculous. His numbers seemed better than they were because Watson has struggled to find his footing.

Now I’m not trying to convince anyone that Flacco was a dud because he wasn’t. But he’s a backup quarterback who played 6 games here. Let’s not pretend like he’s anything more than that.

Newsflash – Flacco wasn’t going to steal any starts from Deshaun Watson. Neither will Winston. What the Browns front office and coaching staff are hoping for – and what Browns fans should also be hoping for – is that our uber-expensive QB1 simply stays on the field. That’s the best chance of the Browns not only making the playoffs, but also making a run in the playoffs.

Flacco was fun to watch, but in the biggest game of the year, he had two of the biggest QB blunders for this team of the entire season. That happened, and that probably weighed heavy in the front office’s decision to move on from him.

And let’s also remember that we’re talking about a backup quarterback here.

Not the starter. A backup.

So, Browns fans, let’s try to relax.

Here’s Why Browns Fans Should Get Over Joe Flacco Leaving Cleveland  was originally published on newstalkcleveland.com

1. Here’s Why Browns Fans Should Get Over Joe Flacco Leaving Cleveland

2. Here’s Why Browns Fans Should Get Over Joe Flacco Leaving Cleveland

3. Here’s Why Browns Fans Should Get Over Joe Flacco Leaving Cleveland

4. Here’s Why Browns Fans Should Get Over Joe Flacco Leaving Cleveland

5. Here’s Why Browns Fans Should Get Over Joe Flacco Leaving Cleveland

6. Here’s Why Browns Fans Should Get Over Joe Flacco Leaving Cleveland

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10. Here’s Why Browns Fans Should Get Over Joe Flacco Leaving Cleveland