Kevin Stefanski Reveals Why Browns Chose Jameis Winston Over Joe Flacco

The Cleveland Browns head coach explains why they made the surprising decision to move on from Joe Flacco.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns are having an active offseason with a significant roster turnover from the 2023 campaign. One of the most notable moves in free agency for the Browns was the decision to sign Jameis Winston as the backup QB and let Joe Flacco walk.

Not retaining Flacco was perhaps seen as a surprise by some after he successfully led Cleveland to the postseason with his late-season performance. Head coach Kevin Stefanski finally addressed this and explained the reasoning behind the change in the quarterback room.

Browns News: HC Stefanski Reveals Reason Behind Jameis Winston Decision

Flacco and Winston basically signed for similar one-year deals around $4-5 million in free agency. So, the Browns' decision was certainly not financial-related. Flacco will likely not start in Indianapolis either as they have promising youngster Anthony Richardson at the helm there. So, role and playing time wasn't a reason, either.

For Stefanski, it was solely about Winston's talent and fit. Calling him a "talented, talented football player", Stefanski couldn't contain his excitement about integrating Winston into the offense.

That doesn't mean, however, that coach had anything but glowing things to say about Joe Flacco.

"Well, I would just say with Joe, No. 1, and we've talked about it last year [it] was great getting to know him, getting him implemented into our team, what he meant, the impact he had, was special. I think every year you have to look at your roster, look at the team and make decisions that you think are right for the football team."

HC Stefanski on Joe Flacco

If the 2024 campaign goes according to the plan for the Browns, this decision will not matter. Cleveland needs Deshaun Watson healthy, available, and playing well for them to reach their goals. The best-case scenario for Browns fans is that they will not see more than a handful of snaps from Winston or any of their other backup quarterbacks.

The Browns currently have the third-best odds (+550) in the AFC North to win the division. They need to be much healthier than last season to beat these odds. Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook and claim your sign-up bonus of $200 if you think they can.

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