New England Patriots

Oct 17, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco (5) warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

The Jets found a veteran to plug behind Sam Darnold on the team’s quarterback depth chart on Friday, signing Joe Flacco to a one-year deal worth up to $4.5 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Flacco’s move to the Jets comes after what was a season to forget in Denver in 2019, with a 2-6 record to go with just six touchdowns (and five interceptions) and a career-low 185.7 yards per game in eight starts for the Broncos. The 35-year-old Flacco, who underwent neck surgery last month but remains expected to be ready to be a participant in training camp in a non-contact situation, has made just 17 starts since the start of the 2018 season (this after missing just six games over the first 10 years of his NFL career), compiling a 6-11 record between the Broncos and Ravens.

In Baltimore for the first 11 years of his career, Flacco is no stranger to the Patriots, and has gone head-to-head with New England nine times between the regular season and postseason. The 6-foot-6 quarterback is 3-6 against the Pats in his career, with a 1-4 regular-season record and a 2-2 postseason record, all during his run with Baltimore.

And prior to the Titans’ Ryan Tannehill’s win over the Patriots in last year’s wild card round, Flacco was the only active AFC quarterback with a playoff win over the Patriots since the start of the 2011 season.

Darnold, meanwhile, is coming off a 2019 that featured a career-high 19 touchdowns and 3,024 passing yards in 13 games as New York’s starter. The Jets also went 7-6 with the second-year pro as their starter. But Flacco’s signing may have to something to do with that number, really, as Darnold has yet to play a full season since being drafted with the third overall pick in 2018.

The Patriots will face the Jets in a Week 9 Monday Night Football head-to-head at MetLife Stadium before concluding their 2020 regular season schedule with a Week 17 meeting at Gillette Stadium.

Flacco’s signing also leaves ex-Panthers star Cam Newton as the only 2019 starter without a home. Newton, who made just two starts last year, has reportedly become willing to be a backup should the right opportunity present itself.

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