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Colts agree to terms with QB Joe Flacco on one-year contract for $8.7M

Joe Flacco's return to Cleveland didn't happen, but he's found a nice landing spot just one state to the west.

Flacco plans to sign a one-year contract worth up to $8.7 million with the Indianapolis Colts, NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo reported on Wednesday. The deal includes $4.5 million guaranteed, per Rapoport.

Flacco's return to an NFL roster in March follows a year in which he waited fruitlessly for a team to call with legitimate interest, leaving him on the couch into the regular season before Cleveland's desperation prompted it to fly Flacco out for a visit. What began as a coach flight to Cleveland ended in a euphoric month and a half, in which Flacco became the first quarterback in Browns franchise history to throw for 300-plus yards in four straight games while leading the Browns to a playoff berth.

Flacco had reached a point where he began to accept he might not field a call from an NFL team when the Browns dialed him. Because he made the most of his opportunity in Cleveland, he's received another with the Colts, who were in need of a veteran backup to insert into the depth chart behind promising second-year passer Anthony Richardson after Gardner Minshew left for Las Vegas.

In his six starts (five regular season, one postseason), Flacco proved he can still sling it with the best the NFL has to offer, throwing for 1,616 yards and a 13-8 TD-INT ratio and winning the Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Sure, he was good for an interception or two with each game, but the positive outweighed the negative, and after the Colts learned the value of a backup quarterback in 2023 -- a season in which Minshew was entrusted with the job from Week 5 through Week 18 -- they made sure to add another who has demonstrated his value in the last six months.

Flacco, a one-time Super Bowl MVP with the Ravens, has thrown for 43,936 yards, 245 touchdowns and 155 interceptions in his career. 

In an ideal situation, the Colts never see Flacco in regular-season action. But after a season in which 66 different quarterbacks started a game in the NFL, it's never been more important to have a solid backup plan. Indianapolis believes it has found another one in Flacco.

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