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Broncos inform Joe Flacco he will be released


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Just over a year after Joe Flacco was officially traded to the Broncos, the team has parted ways with the veteran signal caller.

The Broncos have informed the 12-year veteran they will release him with a failed physical designation, the team announced Thursday.

Flacco, a former Super Bowl MVP, arrived in Denver to hopes he would be able to help the Broncos return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Early in the season, Flacco appeared up to the job. Though the Broncos started 0-4, he twice led go-ahead touchdown drives late in the fourth quarter of games. And behind Flacco, the Broncos won a pair of consecutive games against the Chargers and Titans to provide a glimmer of hope for the rest of the season.

Flacco, though, suffered a neck injury that he aggravated in a Week 8 loss to the Colts. The Broncos proceeded to place Flacco on injured reserve ahead of a Week 9 game against Cleveland.

Yet while Flacco's season ended in early November, he remained around the team until the end of the season. As Brandon Allen and then Drew Lock took their turns as the team's starting quarterback, Flacco remained engaged in team meetings and served as a resource.

"Joe's been amazing," Lock said last season. "I think, just being in those meetings with him every single day, listening to like — whether or not he knows I'm listening and writing things down what he's saying, I've been taking everything in. Even on the field. I was super happy that I got to travel and go to all the away games. I know sometimes guys on IR don't necessarily travel, but to be able to go there, see those environments, see how he reacts, see him ready in the locker room before a game — what's his preparation before the game? Does he go out and throw a little bit or does he just kind of sit in the locker room and get ready. I think it was cool to be able to see different perspectives of a quarterback because, like I said, being the guy at Mizzou for four years all I knew was myself and how I prepped. To be able to come here, have a little time to see how other guys prep, I think it was very beneficial for me."

Flacco finished the 2019 season with 1,822 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 65.3 percent of his passes. He finished 2-6 as a starter.

In his 12-year career, Flacco compiled a 98-73 record as he passed for 40,067 yards, 218 touchdowns and 141 interceptions.

Flacco indicated following the 2019 season that he hopes to continue his playing career.

With Flacco no longer on the roster, the Broncos' quarterback depth chart gains more clarity. Lock is expected to be the team's starter, while the Broncos reportedly agreed to terms with Jeff Driskel to compete for the backup role. Brett Rypien also remains under contract.

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