Joe Flacco surprised by Browns decision to sign Jameis Winston

Joe Flacco thought he was returning to the Browns

Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns
Joe Flacco, Cleveland Browns / Tim Warner/GettyImages

Joe Flacco believed he was returning to the Cleveland Browns in 2024. After winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award following his five-game stretch with Cleveland, he was ready to return as the No. 2 quarterback behind Deshuan Watson.

Then, the Browns went in a different direction.

Cleveland initially kicked the tires on Jacoby Brissett but when he signed with the New England Patriots, they brought in Jameis Winston. He signed a one-year deal which meant Flacco wasn't coming back. For those who weren't expecting that move, you're not alone.

When asked if he was surprised by the move, Flacco responded "Probably a little bit" according to Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. However, Flacco might have been more than a little surprised.

Joe Flacco was making plans as if he would stay with the Browns

Flacco signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts where he will back up Anthony Richardson. Despite this, there were strong indications he was going to return to the Browns.

Sources were telling beat reporters that Flacco was likely to return. He believed this as well as he scheduled a private event at Top Golf with Browns fans according to Mary Kay Cabot of He also had an autograph session the next night at Hartville Marketplace between Canton and Akron.

Flacco, a former Super Bowl winner for the Baltimore Ravens, won the fan base over during his short time. That's led to a belief among many that his popularity could have rubbed Watson the wrong way. Others say Winston is simply a better fit in their offense.

Whatever you believe, it's clear Flacco never saw this coming. Even if he says he was only a "little surprised."

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