Jets sign Joe Flacco to one-year deal as Sam Darnold’s backup
The Jets made another move at quarterback on Friday, adding a Super Bowl winner.
The team reached a deal with former Ravens and Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco, according to his agent Joe Linta. The deal is for one year with a base of $1.5 million with $3 million possible in incentives.
Flacco won’t be available right away when and if the Jets return to the field in late July. He had neck surgery in early April and has gotten good progress reports in his rehab, Linta said. He is expected to get clearance for non-contact drills in early August and then full clearance in the mid to late September. Linta said Flacco is already throwing.
Flacco, 35, will be reunited with Jets general manager Joe Douglas, who was the scout that pushed the Ravens to draft him out of Delaware in 2008. Flacco went on to lead Baltimore to a Super Bowl win in 2012. He played 11 years for the Ravens before going to Denver last year. He started eight games for the Broncos, completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 1,822 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions. The neck injury ended his season early. The Broncos released him in March.
The Jets needed a veteran backup for Sam Darnold. The team re-signed David Fales last month and drafted James Morgan in the fourth round out of Florida International. But neither of them have ever started an NFL game. Flacco has started 171 regular-season games and has a record of 98-73. He is a veteran of 15 playoff games, winning 10 of them.
Linta said Flacco drew interest from other teams but chose the Jets because he liked Douglas, coach Adam Gase and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. Flacco will begin participating in the Jets’ virtual offseason program on Tuesday. “It’s a good fit,” Linta said.
The Jets have been in contact with Flacco’s doctors and had one of their own doctors examine him. They feel comfortable that he will recover from the neck injury. The Ravens took Flacco, a New Jersey native, with the No. 18 overall pick in 2008 after Douglas lobbied for him.
He became the team’s starter as a rookie and did not have a losing record as the team’s quarterback until 2015. In 2012, he threw for 3,817 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as he guided the Ravens to a Super Bowl title. Baltimore traded Flacco to the Broncos after Lamar Jackson emerged in 2018.The backup role to Darnold is an important one. Darnold has missed six games in his first two years and the Jets are 0-6 in those games. Last season, he was diagnosed with mononucleosis and missed three games. Trevor Siemian replaced him, but broke his ankle in his first game. Luke Falk then started the next two and was completely ineffective. The Jets were embarrassed by the Patriots and Eagles in those games.