What happened to Joe Flacco? Super Bowl 47 champ now backs up Sam Darnold for Jets

Super Bowl champion Joe Flacco won’t be getting anywhere near a Super Bowl in 2020. The latest stop in Flacco’s football journey brought him to the New York Jets, where he and James Morgan are part of Sam Darnold’s backup brigade.

Because of a Darnold shoulder injury, though, Flacco will be a starting NFL quarterback once again in Week 9 against the Patriots on ‘Monday Night Football.’ At 0-8, the Jets are the leaders in the clubhouse to land Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft, but for now, it’s Flacco at the controls against New England’s Cam Newton in a battle of two quarterbacks who’ve fallen mightily from their peaks. 

Where is Joe Flacco playing in 2020?

Flacco signed his one-year contract with the Jets on May 22. It’s due to pay him $1.5 million and includes another $3 million in incentives, according to NFL.com. The Denver Broncos let Flacco go after Drew Lock took over their starting job, and Flacco had neck surgery in the offseason. 

New York was seeking a backup for Sam Darnold, and Flacco was readily available coming off his neck procedure and struggles in Denver. Flacco provides a veteran presence in a quarterback room that includes Darnold and rookie fourth-rounder James Morgan. 

Flacco was inactive for the first three weeks of the 2020 NFL season as he continued recovery from his offseason surgery. Week 4 brought Flacco’s first game action when Darnold exited temporarily with an injury, then Flacco started for New York in Weeks 5 and 6. He’s completed 41-of-79 passes for 397 yards entering 2020 Week 9, with one touchdown and one interception.  

Why is Joe Flacco backing up Sam Darnold?

Flacco’s most recent on-field action before the Jets came for the 2019 Broncos. He started eight games as Denver went 2-6, throwing six touchdowns and five interceptions. His rate stats weren’t actually much different from his prime years in Baltimore both his 2019 completion percentage and yards per pass attempt were better than Flacco’s career averages. 

At 35, though, Flacco wasn’t likely to find a starting job in an offseason that didn’t feature many openings to begin with. Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater and Nick Foles were among the veteran QBs that teams sought after more in the offseason, especially knowing Flacco likely wouldn’t be healthy for Week 1. 

The Jets have commonly looked to provide a veteran backup for Darnold throughout his young career, including Trevor Siemian in 2019 and Josh McCown in 2018. Now in his third NFL season, Darnold could use more veteran advice to lower his career 39:34 TD:INT ratio while trying to deal with a less-than-steller group of skill players around him. 

Joe Flacco career timeline

2008: Drafted with the 18th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Delaware.

2013: Flacco and the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII, 34-31, in a game that featured the lights at the Superdome going out.

2013: Flacco signs a six-year, $120.6-million contract with the Ravens.

2016: Flacco signs a three-year, $66.4-million extension with the Ravens.

2019: The Ravens trade Flacco to the Broncos, allowing Lamar Jackson to become Baltimore’s unquestioned starting quarterback.

2020: The Broncos cut Flacco in March, and he signs with the Jets in May.

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