The Cleveland Browns completed a surprising transaction last weekeknd leading into Monday by signing veteran quarterback and Baltimore Ravens legend and Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco to their practice squad.
The Browns inked Flacco to a deal for the remainder of the season on Sunday, then moved him to their active, 53-man roster on Monday.
This, of course, was only made possible because of the season-ending shoulder injury suffered by starting quarterback Deshaun Watson in the Week 10 game against the Ravens.
Already 38 years old, Flacco made very clear that he is ready to play and give football another (the nth) go. "I definitely believe I can still play," Flacco said on Wednesday ahead of his first practice as a member of the Cleveland Browns, as quoted by Jake Trotter of ESPN.
The veteran quarterback, however, is not expected to start right away for the Browns. The plan in Cleveland is to give rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson as many chances as possible following his last start on Sunday against the Steelers, one that ended in a Browns victory.
Flacco is poised to compete with P.J. Walker for the backup role behind rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, but it feels like the Browns are just signing Flacco to serve as a mentor for DTR and as a break-in-case-of-emergency starter exclusively.
Flacco expressed his willingness to suit any role, stating, "Whatever my role ends up being and wherever this takes me, then I’ll do my best at that."
Truth be told, Flacco might be a bit past his prime. He debuted in 2008, more than 15 years ago to this day, and although he led the Ravens to six playoff appearances in his first seven seasons along with lifting the Super Bowl XLVII title, all of that happened more than a decade ago.
Flacco admitted to being a little upset with how slowly things developed for him and his market throughout the summer and already into the season while he waited for a call. "As I sat at home for most of this year, I was probably beginning to lose a little bit of faith in that," he revealed.
Flacco's most recent on-field action took place during the 2022 season with the New York Jets, where he defeated his new team early in the season, in one of the four games he started (five played in total) for Gang Green.
There is little to no chance Flacco meets the Ravens this season, however, as that'd take both teams making the postseason and one of them (the one with the lower seed) advancing past the Wild Card for a playoffs matchup down the road.