After a disappointing year last season for the Houston Texans, quarterback Brock Osweiler was traded from the Texans to the Cleveland Browns for a 2017 fourth-round compensatory pick. The Browns will be taking on the rest of Osweiler’s salary as well. People are questioning the team for taking on Osweiler salary, but after everything that happened in Houston, could Osweiler actually be the short-term answer at quarterback for the Browns?
Drafted by the Denver Broncos, Osweiler was groomed to take the starting quarterback role in the future. He was mentored by veteran quarterback Peyton Manning. After sitting on the bench for the first three seasons of his NFL career, Osweiler finally got his chance to shine in 2015 when Manning went down with an injury.
In the 8 games in Manning place, Osweiler showcased that he has the potential to become a starting quarterback in the NFL and a good one at that. Osweiler showed that he has great arm strength, effective at throwing in the pocket and that he can run for a good couple of yards on the ground make plays with his feet.
Even though he had a decent season, Osweiler suffered a low-grade strain to the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during the game on January 7th against the San Diego Chargers. Due to the injury and production from a returning Manning, Osweiler was benched for the entire 2016 NFL playoffs.
In the offseason, Manning called it quits retiring from the NFL after a legendary 18-year career in the league. The team was ready to have Osweiler become the next franchise quarterback of the Broncos, but the team hit a road bump with Osweiler hitting the free agent market that same year.
In the free agent market, Osweiler signed a four-year deal with the Texans worth $72 million. At the time, this sounded like a smart move. The team was looking for a face of the franchise and Osweiler was in the prime of his career. However, everything that could go wrong went wrong for both sides.
In his first and only season with the team, Osweiler proved that he was nothing but a giant waste of money and that the team made a horrible decision in signing him to that big money free agent contract.
During the season, Osweiler did not play the way that he played in Denver the year before. He looked like he was not an improvement on the field and off the field. On the field, he was not effective in the pocket, whether it was throwing the ball well or making plays with his feet. It got to a point that the team benched him for Tom Savage in Week 15.
Off the field, there were multiple reports that Osweiler and head coach Bill O Brian got into multiple headed arguments in the locker room and could not get on the right page. With all the off the field drama and on the field production, it was safe to say that the team wanted to end this experiment after just one season.
Even though Osweiler played poorly in Houston, he is still a decent NFL quarterback. He was just given too big of an expectation with the Texans and did not live to the production that the team and fan base expected that he would produce. Osweiler was brought in to lead the team to the next level but he is not that type of quarterback.
In Cleveland, Osweiler’s expectations will not be very big, the team is not even close to making it to the playoffs right now. The roster is in shambles right now, besides the select few talented player on that team.
Since 1999, the team looked like it has been cursed at the quarterback position, with 24 starting quarterbacks and none lasting a whole 16 game season since Tim Couch did it in 2001, leading them to a 7-9 record and third in the AFC North. A lot of this is due to the team making horrible decisions when it comes to quarterbacks, with everyone turning out to being either a bust that did not live to expectation or injury prone.
The Browns fanbase should not expect any franchise numbers from Osweiler. He is not the type of guy that can change a franchise. Osweiler is the type of guy that can be a short-term solution while the long-term solution at quarterback is waiting for a few seasons.
With Osweiler scheduled to be making $16 million this season, it is hard to believe that a team that is trying to rebuild right now would take a quarterback with the cap hit that he has. However, since the Browns have the most salary cap space in the league, they should have no problem paying the rest of his salary.
All he has to do in Cleveland is just be an average quarterback. He needs to make the plays that he has to make and limit the turnovers. If he can win at least five games, that will be the most successful season the team had in two years, which I think is a realistic expectation for him.
At the end of the day, if the team is willing to give him a chance and do not cut him or trade him, Osweiler can be the short-term answer at quarterback.
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