Joe Flacco Wins AP Comeback Player of the Year: Browns QB Nabs Award

Joe Flacco has been named the NFL AP Comeback Player of the Year award winner. What did he do to earn the award?

The 2023-2024 NFL Honors has announced the AP Comeback Player of the Year award winner. The field was voted on before the playoffs and limited down to five finalists earlier in January. However, only one person can win the award. Who won this year’s AP Comeback Player of the Year award, and what did they do to earn it?

Joe Flacco Wins AP Comeback Player of the Year Award

The AP Comeback Player of the Year has been given to Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco.

Flacco won the award over fellow finalists Damar Hamlin (Buffalo Bills), Baker Mayfield (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins), and Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams).

Flacco was signed midseason by the Browns after the team suffered a plethora of injuries to their quarterbacks, specifically starter Deshaun Watson. At 39 years old, Flacco started five games and passed for 1,616 yards, 13 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. The Browns were 4-1 under his lead.

Flacco signed just a one-year contract with the Browns, meaning he is set to be a free agent once again when the new league year starts on Mar. 13, 2024. It’s unknown whether he will return to the Browns or not, as Watson will likely be healthy to start 2024.

During his time with the Browns, Flacco found the most success he’s had since he was with the Baltimore Ravens. He’s played for the Denver Broncos, New York Jets, and now Browns since leaving the Ravens.

Despite having the level of success he did, Flacco did not believe he should win the award over Hamlin, who recovered from cardiac arrest he suffered on the field late in the 2022 season. “I don’t necessarily know what I’m coming back from, from being old and not being on a team for a couple of months?” said Flacco.

“I feel like it’s a little strange, I only played in a handful of games,” said Flacco. “It’s just good to be here.” When asked if he would vote for himself, he said “Of course not.”

The vote for the award was a close one, with Flacco holding 151 (13-26-8) points, Hamlin holding 140 (21-7-14), and Mayfield holding 93 (10-10-13).

MORE: 2024 NFL Awards Winners

The voting was done on a 5-3-1 scoring system, with first-place votes receiving five points, second-place votes receiving three points, and third-place votes receiving one point.

Previous AP Comeback Player of the Year Winners

In 2022, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith won the award. Smith was in his first year starting for the Seahawks after the team traded away longtime starter Russell Wilson. In his first year as starter at 32 years old, the Seahawks went 9-8 and made the playoffs.

In addition to the team’s success, Smith had passed for 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He additionally had a 69.8 percent completion percentage, a league high in 2022.

  • 2021: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
  • 2020: Alex Smith, Washington Football Team
  • 2019: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
  • 2018: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

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