With the signing of veteran QB Joe Flacco to the Jets roster this upcoming season, GM Joe Douglas is indicating that Flacco’s presence in the locker room may not just be as another backup quarterback.
For Flacco, his new contract with a new team and his recovery from neck surgery mean he’s at a career crossroads with the Jets being the potential beneficiaries of Flacco’s move to New York.
Joe Flacco has had a storied NFL career over 12 seasons including six playoff runs, a Super Bowl ring, and an MVP trophy. After being a force in the Baltimore Ravens franchise for over a decade, Flacco found himself on the outside looking in with the Ravens who moved on to a fantastic young QB in Lamar Jackson.
Flacco then moved on to Denver in his one and only season with the Broncos that ended in midseason with a herniated disk in his neck.
Does this mean that Joe Flacco is basically at the end of his career?
While still awaiting medical clearance to play, Flacco has been hard at work learning Adam Gase’s offensive schemes and the sheer presence of a veteran QB with a Super Bowl ring within the Jets organization speaks volumes to Flacco’s experience and knowledge of the game.
Flacco certainly isn’t “washed up” in the usual sense but he will no doubt be looking to define his role with the Jets.
However, Flacco certainly understands that his role at least currently is to serve as a veteran backup to starter Sam Darnold as he pointed out to ESPN.com:
“I’m fully embracing it,” he said of the backup job. “I mean, it’s where I am right now. I’m glad to be on a team playing football in some capacity.”
In reality, there certainly still is a fire inside of Joe Flacco that drives him to even want to sign a contract this season with the Jets rather than contemplate retirement after the neck injury he suffered last year. Among the NFL quarterback fraternity, there certainly isn’t a player in this position who genuinely strives solely to be a backup.
Flacco has to approach this season with the Jets as though he’s preparing to be a starter when the season opens up:
“Listen, I don’t think there are any backups in this league that doesn’t have aspirations to be a starting quarterback. It’s just part of the business. It’s part of being on a team and knowing your role. Roles can change here and there. You can be on different teams from year to year. I obviously know that at this point. But right now at this point in time, I know what my role is and I’m glad to do so.” Joe Flacco, ESPN.com, 5/28/20.
For now, Joe Flacco is a seasoned backup QB in the Jets organization and his role is set. Flacco may well turn out solely to be a mentor for Sam Darnold and eventually move into the coaching ranks.
As the 2020-21 NFL season unfolds, however, one thing is almost certain – quarterbacks will get injured and the experience and maturity Joe Flacco has shown over 12 seasons in the NFL may be pay dividends down the road for the Jets.
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