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Jets sign Joe Flacco to back up Sam Darnold

Quarterback Joe Flacco of the Denver Broncos at

Quarterback Joe Flacco of the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on October 17, 2019 in Colorado. Credit: Getty Images/Justin Edmonds

The Jets have added a former Super Bowl MVP to back up quarterback Sam Darnold.

Joe Flacco will sign a one-year deal with the Jets, his agency tweeted. He will get $1.5 million guaranteed and could earn up to $4.5 million, a league source confirmed.

Flacco, 35, had neck surgery in April and isn’t expected to be cleared for contact until later this summer. When he’s healthy, he’s expected to be Darnold’s primary backup. For now, he can take part in the Jets’ virtual offseason program.

This move was somewhat expected considering the Jets’ quarterback situation and Flacco’s ties to general manager Joe Douglas.

When the Ravens drafted Flacco in the first round in 2008, Douglas was a scout for Baltimore. He was very high on Flacco and pushed the Ravens to draft him. Flacco spent 11 years with Baltimore and led the Ravens to the playoffs six times. He was the Super Bowl XLVII MVP after throwing for 287 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-31 victory over the 49ers in February 2013.

Flacco was traded to the Broncos last year after the emergence of Lamar Jackson in Baltimore. He appeared in eight games for the Broncos but struggled to produce or lead them to wins. Flacco threw for 1,822 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games, all starts, in which Denver was 2-6. The Broncos placed Flacco on injured reserve in November with the neck injury.

In his career, the native of Voorhees, New Jersey, has completed 61.9% of his passes for 40,067 yards, 218 touchdowns and 141 interceptions.

He joins a quarterback room that definitely needs a veteran presence. Before this signing, David Fales, who has thrown 48 passes in five career games, was the most experienced quarterback on the Jets’ roster behind Darnold.

The Jets drafted developmental quarterback James Morgan out of Florida International in the fourth round this year. Former Cowboys draft pick Mike White also is on the team but hasn’t attempted an NFL pass.

The Jets needed to improve the backup quarterback position, especially after what happened last season when Darnold missed three games with mononucleosis.

Trevor Siemian stepped in and broke his ankle in the first half of the first game without Darnold. The Jets turned to unproven practice team quarterback Luke Falk, who didn’t throw a touchdown pass and was sacked 16 times in three games. The Jets cut Falk when Darnold was ready to return and signed Fales to back him up.


Age: 35

College: Pittsburgh, Delaware

Career: 12 years (Ravens 11, Broncos 1) Att: 5932 Comp: 3670 TDs 218 INTs 141 Yards 40067 SOURCE: Pro Football Reference

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