1. Joe Flacco, QB
This one is arguably the toughest of the bunch. Joe Flacco was signed to the Browns practice squad in mid-November after Deshaun Watson was sent to the IR with a shoulder injury. Dorian Thompson-Robinson had taken over and led them to a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers but they wanted another backup to compete with P.J. Walker.
DTR was injured in their following contest as they lost to the Denver Broncos. Walker took over in that one but it was Flacco time when they took the field in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Rams. That proved to be the worst outing for Flacco but he still had 254 yards and two touchdowns. It was also the only loss they had with him under center during the regular season.
Flacco led the Browns to four wins in a row and had more than 300 yards in each of those victories. With nothing to play for in the finale, Flacco sat out meaning he finished the year 4-1 with 1,616 yards and 13 touchdowns. He had eight interceptions which was more than he would say is too many but he still had the most wins, most yardage, and most touchdowns out of every quarterback in the NFL during those four weeks.
As good as he was, it's hard to see a scenario where he returns. The Browns are tied to Watson no matter what thanks to his monstrous contract. That means they will do all they can to make him comfortable, even if it means letting Flacco play elsewhere in 2024. Keeping him could lead to a distraction with the crowd calling for Flacco any time Watson makes a mistake.
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