Jets Sign Veteran QB Despite Injury Woes

Joe Flacco

Getty Joe Flacco

The New York Jets are signing Joe Flacco to a one-year deal, his agency announces. The deal will be for $1.5 million but could be worth up to $4.5 million with incentives.

The talks between the two sides have been ongoing for weeks, according to Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan. The Eagles were in the mix for Flacco earlier in the offseason, though they backed off of that pursuit after drafting Jalen Hurts.

Flacco is still recovering from neck surgery, which is expected to keep him out of action for months. He’s expected to be ready to participate in training camp.

Flacco Adds Reliable Option Behind Darnold

Sam Darnold has missed time in each of his first two seasons, as Pro Football Action details.  In 2018, it was a foot sprain that caused him to sit out three games. In 2019, it was a string of bizarre injuries. He missed three games with mono and was banged up on other occasions, nursing a removed toenail and a sprained thumb after returning to the field.

New York was 7-6 when Darnold played but 0-3 without him. Flacco should provide a better option for the Jets in the event that Darnold goes down. The team also has David Fales and rookie James Morgan at the position.

Curious Timing on Flacco’s Deal

Flacco’s signing comes at a time where medical staffs aren’t fully able to evaluate players because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cam Newton, who’s odds of signing with the Steelers are evershifting, previously cited the pandemic as a possible reason he remains without a team.

“It’s so much possibility for me right now, but the fact that this corona situation has hit, I’m not a person to blame or do any of that things, man, it’s business,” Newton said last month. “But at the same time, I think I have been affected in a lot of ways, and it’s just [unfortunate], but yeah, at the end of the day, man, I’m going to let the ball play how it play, man, and go from there.”

Newton struggled with injuries over the past two seasons. Foot surgery limited him to just two games played in 2019 and he wasn’t sharp in those contests, compiling zero touchdowns and one interception while completing 56.2 percent of his passes.

Like Flacco, it’s been a while since Newton was in MVP form. Newton had his own Super Bowl appearance back in 2015 during a 15-1 regular-season run. He had some success in 2017, leading the team to the playoffs, though his 59.1% completion percentage that season left much to be desired.

Perhaps GM Joe Douglas’ familiarity with Flacco played a role. Douglas was with the Ravens as a scout when they drafted Flacco out of Delaware in 2008 and was with the franchise through the QB’s Super Bowl run.

It’s not clear what type of salary Newton is looking for, so perhaps Flacco signing a relatively cheap contract was also a factor in the Jets feeling confident enough to bring him in despite the injury risk. Flacco is 35 years-old while Newton turned 31 earlier this month.

With Flacco signed, Newton is the only QB who came into last season as a starter with a job.

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