The fall of Brock Osweiler

Brock Osweiler to be released by Cleveland Browns, source says - Osweiler was beaten out by rookie DeShone Kizer


Brock Osweiler’s days with the Browns were numbered when the quarterback arrived in a trade.

They’re now over.

Osweiler is being released by Cleveland, which will have to pay his $16 million guaranteed contract not to have him on their roster, a person familiar with the team’s moves told The Associated Press on Friday.

Osweiler will be officially cut on Saturday along with veteran guard John Greco, kicker Cody Parkey and defensive lineman Xavier Cooper when the team trims its roster to 53 on Saturday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is still finalizing its roster decisions.

The 26-year-old Osweiler was acquired by the Browns on March 9 from Houston for a 2018 second-round draft pick. The team did not have any long-term plans for Osweiler, who went 8-6 as a starter for the Texans last season. However, because of his large contract, the Browns were unable to unload Osweiler and he competed for their starting job this summer.
Comment: Why Cleveland traded for him
On Thursday [March 9th, 2017] they started utilizing their assets, mostly in conventional ways—getting free-agent linemen Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter, and receiver Kenny Britt in the fold, and extending the deal of stalwart guard Joel Bitonio. And then they moved to use their cap space in another way—and flip it into another asset. In the trade with the Texans, Cleveland gets a second-round pick in 2018, a sixth-rounder in ’17 and Osweiler (and the $16 million he’s owed this year) in exchange for a 2017 fourth-rounder.

Moneyball in baseball is designed to find market inefficiencies, and one of those would certainly be how a big quarterback contract can hang around a team’s neck. The Browns saw that, in the way the Brock Osweiler contract has become an absolute albatross in Houston—and found an opening.

The result: They flipped late-round picks this year, and acquired a second-round pick next year to take on Osweiler’s contract. And they’re trying to find someone to take Osweiler off their hands now, while they eat a piece of his salary, to acquire something else (though it likely wouldn’t be much).

I’d be surprised if we see Osweiler playing for the Browns in the fall, because this trade wasn’t about acquiring Osweiler. It was about taking advantage of an inefficiency elsewhere and leveraging an asset from it.

OK, so we went through all the unprecedented portfolio of ammunition the Browns took into this offseason, right? When I asked coach Hue Jackson about it on Saturday, he said, “It’s very exciting, but it’s pressure-packed too. You gotta get it right because these are opportunities to take this organization in a whole new direction.”

With this trade, the Browns didn’t acquire a quarterback. They simply created more opportunity for themselves—this time in 2018. They now have 10 picks in that draft, 14 months away, including three second-rounders and two fourth-rounders. Chances are they’ll eventually wind up with more than that. Of course, at some point this will have to be about selecting the right players with all those picks.
Better times
Osweiler left the Broncos one month after their Super Bowl championship after spending four seasons there. He was selected by Denver in the second round of the 2012 draft. The Texans paid him a contract worth $72 million over four years with $37 million guaranteed, hoping to gain stability at the quarterback position for the first time in four seasons. He posted a picture of himself signing the contract on Instagram.


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