3 former Browns who won’t live up to their new contracts

Free agency doesn't always go as planned

Cleveland Browns, Joe Flacco
Cleveland Browns, Joe Flacco / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Joe Flacco, QB, Indianapolis Colts: 1 year, up to $8.7 million

Signed in November, Joe Flacco wound up winning over the hearts of Browns fans everywhere. With Deshaun Watson sent to the IR already, Cleveland lost Dorian Thompson-Robinson when he suffered a concussion in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Flacco took over at this point and never looked back.

Despite losing to the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13, Flacco impressed with 254 yards and two touchdowns. From that point on, he had at least 300 yards and multiple touchdowns in each of the following four games. More importantly, he led them to four wins in a row, finishing with 1,616 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Flacco’s performance led to him winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award but he still wasn’t retained in Cleveland. Instead, they signed Jameis Winston to a contract nearly identical to what Flacco signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Flacco will receive $4.5 million but can see that increase to $8.7 million based on playing time incentives.

This sent Cleveland fans into a frenzy but the fact is the Browns were right to look for another option. As much fun as Flacco Fever was, his performance wasn’t his norm. Flacco has struggled in nearly every appearance since leaving the Baltimore Ravens and while he can catch fire, he’s also turnover-prone — proven by his 10 picks in six games (including the playoffs).

Throw in the fact that the Colts roster isn’t as impressive as the Browns and it’s hard to see Flacco living up to his deal should he see the field.

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