But for his part, the once-and-maybe-future starter said he feels a part of something unique there, and wants to return.
“Every single guy on this team embraced me, and that is something I think they all know how thankful I am for that, but this is the best team in the world and we have a very special group in our locker room,” he said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.
Osweiler filled in more than acceptably during Manning’s injury/ineffective streak midseason. He was 5-2 as their starter, reasonably in line with expectations on a team that doesn’t ask the quarterback to do too much on his own.
But they think he’s capable of more in the future based on this experience.
“I wish every quarterback in the league could have a chance to learn before being put to the fire test,” Broncos quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp said. “It is not just the game itself to learn about, but how you manage the team as a quarterback. How do you handle the tough questions after a tough loss, how do you look in the locker room after a Monday or a Tuesday after a tough loss to your teammates. That’s such a valuable tool because a young quarterback, say he’s a rookie high draft pick, has to play and they have a tough loss, he’s got no experience to pull from. He has no knowledge on how to manage that situation.”
But Osweiler has that experience now, and the inside track to the starting job there in the future. But first, they have to figure out his contract status. If they can’t get a long-term deal done with Von Miller before the deadline, they’re expected to use the franchise tag on their pass-rush star.
That leaves Osweiler as a free agent, and much like Kirk Cousins in Washington, it’s hard to gauge the market value of someone with a promising but limited resume.