2023 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Joe Flacco signs one-year deal with Colts: reports

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Joe Flacco, the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year for the 2023 season, won't go home to wait for a call from another franchise.

Flacco and the Indianapolis Colts have agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $8.7 million, ESPN reported Wednesday. Flacco gets $4.5 million guaranteed in the deal.

With Gardner Minshew leaving for the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency, the Colts needed another replacement for Anthony Richardson, their fourth overall pick last year, who suffered a shoulder injury that put prematurely ended his rookie season.


Joe Flacco screams

Joe Flacco #15 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates after a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the first half at NRG Stadium on December 24, 2023 in Houston, Texas. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Flacco didn't start the year with any franchise, but the Cleveland Browns came calling when Deshaun Watson's season ended due to a shoulder injury.

Flacco was signed to the practice squad in late November, and after head coach Kevin Stefanski initially tried rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson to replace Watson, Flacco got his first start two weeks later.


What happened was breathtaking, as Flacco looked like his Super Bowl self, becoming the first player in league history to throw for over 250 yards and multiple touchdowns in his first five games with a new team.

Flacco moved to center and Stefanski didn't have training wheels on his playbooks. The first start, a 36-19 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, saw Flacco throw for 254 yards with two touchdowns and a interception.

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco #15 throws the ball against the New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 28, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Grégory Shamus/Getty Images)

But from there, the Browns never lost their way to a wild card spot. Flacco helped lead Cleveland to a four-game winning streak, averaging 340.5 yards per game with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He didn't even need to play the final game of the regular season after dropping out.

Flacco, 39, failed to keep his playoff streak going, falling to rookie phenom CJ Stroud and the Houston Texans in the Wild Card round. Yet Flacco's effort, which no one saw coming, helped a desperate team achieve its playoff goals.

While the Colts are certainly hoping Richardson can have a healthy 2024 season, knowing Flacco has his back — and he clearly still has some left in the tank — gives comfort to head coach Shane Steichen in the event Richardson can't play at no time.

Joe Flacco on the field

Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco reacts after throwing six straight picks against the Houston Texans during the second half of an NFL playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Houston . (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


Flacco will enter his 17th season in the NFL, most of which was spent with the Baltimore Ravens, where he won the Super Bowl in 2013 and was named Super Bowl MVP. He also spent time with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets.

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