Andrew Berry Explains Why Browns Signed Jameis Winston Over Joe Flacco

The Browns signed Jameis Winston to a one-year, $8.7 million contract in March
Jan 13, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco (15) jogs off the field
Jan 13, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco (15) jogs off the field / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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In a matter of weeks Joe Flacco ascended to stardom with the Cleveland Browns. But just as quickly as Flacco became a fan favorite, his stint with the franchise was promptly over.

When free agency opened up in mid-March the Browns moved quickly to sign ex-Buccaneers and Saints quarterback Jameis Winston for their backup quarterback position instead of Flacco. The Super Bowl 47 MVP then wound up signing with the Indianapolis Colts, marking the end of a memorable stint with Cleveland.

Flacco's final act in a Browns uniform came in the form of a blowout loss to the Texans in the wild card round of the playoffs. A game that the now 39-year-old veteran threw two pick-sixes. It was a deflating end to an unforgettable ride for Browns fans.

According to Browns general manager Andrew Berry, it wasn't his performance in that final game that prevented them from bringing him back for 2024.

"We don't really overact overreact to any individual performance," Berry said in an interview with 92.3 The Fan's Ken Carman Show with Anthony Lima. "If that was the case, then we would we would throw out our entire defense, just because we didn't put our best foot forward. So we wouldn't overreact. Joe played really great football for us last year."

In a number of ways Winston plays and Flacco are a very similar style of quarterback. They're both gunslingers who are prone to taking some risks downfield. Conversely, one of the major differences between the two signal callers – other than their personalities being distinctly contrasting – is that one (Flacco) is in the limelight of his career.

While age may have been one of the factors in play for the Browns choosing Winston, Berry made it clear that more than anything it was about what the team needed right now.

"We've taken everything into account. Performance, age, cost, you know, all those things come into play. I think I think you know, Joe's an excellent quarterback, Jameis is an excellent quarterback. Jameis made the most sense for us in the in the mosaic of all the roster moves we made this offseason."

Since signing with the Browns, Winston has emphasized the importance of being a resource for starting quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is making his way back from shoulder surgery. That extends beyond the football field too as Winston has battled some of his own off-the-field troubles – something Watson's is going through right now as well. It also helped that the two had pre-existing relationship before becoming teammates.

The Browns may never reveal all that went into the decision to move on from Flacco. At least Fans will always have the memories of his short time in Cleveland.


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Spencer German


Spencer German is a contributor to the Northeast Ohio cluster of sites, including Cavs Insider, Cleveland Baseball Insider and most notably Browns Digest. He also works as a fill-in host on Cleveland Sports Radio, 92.3 The Fan, one of the Browns radio affiliate stations in Cleveland. Despite being a Cleveland transplant, Spencer has enjoyed making Northeast Ohio home ever since he attended college locally at John Carroll University, where he graduated in 2013.