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Report: Browns to pay bonus to Joe Flacco despite sitting him

Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco (15) attempts a pass during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

With their playoff seed locked in, the Cleveland Browns are resting quarterback Joe Flacco in Sunday’s season finale.

In doing so, Flacco will lose the chance to earn a per-game incentive bonus, but the team is paying it anyway, multiple outlets reported Saturday.

Flacco needed to take part in 50 percent of the team’s plays in any one game on offense — and win — to earn an extra $75,000 each week. Per the report, the Browns are converting that Week 18 incentive to a roster bonus. It’s a nice early birthday present for Flacco, who turns 39 on Jan. 16.

In a matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, newly acquired quarterback Jeff Driskel will start for the Browns (11-5), who will be the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs. They will meet the winner of the AFC South in the wild-card round, with the opponent to be determined pending the outcome of Sunday’s slate.

Driskel was signed off the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad last week. Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing was on Stefanski’s staff in Cleveland from 2020-22 and is familiar with the Browns’ system. Driskel, 30, has not appeared in a game this season.

Flacco, who won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens, was picked up as a free agent after the season-ending shoulder injury to starter Deshaun Watson. Before Flacco’s arrival, P.J. Walker and rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson shared the duties at starter.

Flacco is 4-1 as the Cleveland starter and quickly has become a favorite among both fans and teammates.

Per Spotrac, the contract Flacco signed with the Browns in December included a number of bonuses tied to wins: $75,000 for a regular-season game, $250,000 in the wild-card round, $500,000 for a divisional playoff victory, $1 million for the AFC championship and $2 million for helping bring Cleveland a Super Bowl title.

–Field Level Media

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