The season did not end the way the Cleveland Browns thought it would, although it was quite the ride, all things considered.
What other NFL franchise would you have expected to find themselves in the playoffs after starting a total of five quarterbacks during the regular season? What the Browns were able to accomplish this season was both magnificent and lunacy, all at the same time.
Cleveland rode Joe Flacco into the postseason, even if it meant going down with the ship. The Browns were dismantled by the Houston Texans. It was ugly. However, after the game, it was all love for Flacco, as well as from his end.
Flacco was asked about his future and, specifically, in Cleveland.
"Listen, I love it here," he said. "We're dealing with so much right now, just going through the emotions of this game and being so excited to be in this position, and now to come up empty. I think that's where my head is. It's just kind of trying to soak it all in and let this digest a little bit."
It is understandable for Flacco to want to soak in the moment and process the loss, along with his eventful season as a whole. But, his response sure hinted at the fact that he'd love to be back.
It seems as though Joe Flacco could return to the Browns in 2024, but what would that mean?
In mid-December, NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported Flacco indeed wanted to play in 2024 and has no intentions of retiring. But, would a second season with the Browns truly be on the table?
Head coach Kevin Stefanski remains committed to Deshaun Watson as the team's starter. Watson is working his way back from season-ending shoulder surgery on his throwing shoulder, and should be ready to go for Week 1 of the coming season.
But, if this season showed us anything, it's that the Browns have a backup quarterback problem.
At the same time, it showed us that the Browns might have had more than just a problem, but more so a controversy, if Watson and Flacco had both been healthy and on the roster at the same time. With Flacco, this offense took it to new heights. Flacco was electric, throwing for over 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns in five regular season starts.
If Flacco is re-signed in Cleveland, surely fans would be happy to welcome him. But, the summer months could be full of unintentional controversy. What happens if Watson doesn't look the same? If Flacco looks as though he's running the offense at a higher level than Watson, the Browns could have a real issue on their hands.
That's looking far down the line, though. For now, we can stick with simply wondering whether or not Flacco will be back. If he is, then we can go from there with all of the added storylines and questions.