The Denver Broncos have informed quarterback Joe Flacco that he will be released with a failed physical designation, the team announced Thursday.
Flacco, 35, played in just eight games last season before landing on injured reserve with a herniated disk in his neck. Rookie signal caller Drew Lock then burst onto the scene and now appears to be Denver’s quarterback of the future. The Broncos reportedly signed free agent quarterback Jeff Driskel to back up Lock, making Flacco and his expensive contract expendable.
Denver went 2-6 in games started by Flacco, compared to a 4-1 record with Lock under center. The former Super Bowl MVP averaged 227.8 passing yards per game with six touchdowns and five interceptions. He had two years remaining on his deal with cap hits of $23.65 million and $27.65 million in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Releasing him saved the Broncos $10 million against the cap.
ESPN reported that Flacco is expected to be healthy for the 2020 season. He told reporters in December that he didn’t care if he was a backup anymore—whether in Denver or otherwise—and just wanted to continue playing football.
An 11-year veteran, Flacco began his career with the Baltimore Ravens, with whom he won Super Bowl XLVII and signed a six-year, $120 million extension the following offseason. He remained their starter until 2018, when rookie Lamar Jackson impressed coaches enough to push Flacco to the bench. The Ravens then traded him to Denver a few months later.
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