The Cleveland Browns just put together an impressive 2023 season. However, a loss on Wild Card Weekend ended the year on a sour note.
That disappointing finish should give this team all the motivation it needs for an even better 2024 campaign. GM Andrew Berry will have the tough task this offseason, though, of trying to improve his roster while working under salary cap constraints.
This will ultimately lead to players departing, and there's several who stick out as likely guys who won't be back.
1. Joe Flacco
Joe Flacco and the Browns were a match made in heaven this season.
Flacco was an accomplished veteran quarterback looking for another starting opportunity, while Cleveland was a team in desperate need of QB help after Deshaun Watson's season-ending shoulder injury.
Rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson's own injury troubles then thrust Flacco into the QB1 chance he had been waiting for. He took full advantage of it, throwing for 1,616 yards and 13 touchdowns over five starts to end the season.
The Browns went 4-1 during this stretch as the former Super Bowl champion gave them the boost they needed to secure a playoff spot after some many health problems.
While Flacco's return to the postseason didn't go as hoped, he made a strong case to the rest of the league that he's got what it takes to be a regular starter again. That severely complicates a potential return bid in Cleveland considering Watson's status as the clear-cut starter.
Flacco surely wants at least a chance to compete for a QB1 job again instead of being a no-doubt backup. That thinking resulted in him waiting out half of the 2023 season before signing with the Browns, and it ultimately paid off.
Flacco would be an immediate improvement over some starters around the league, so he should have no shortage of options that offer more playing time than the Browns in 2024.