If George Costanza is T-Bone, then Brock Osweiler should be known as Hot Potato, given that the Texans gave up draft picks to unload his $16 million guaranteed contract for 2017. Now that Osweiler temporarily resides in Cleveland’s hands, where will he go next?
The Browns clearly don’t plan to keep him. The options are to trade him or to cut him.
If Cleveland cuts Osweiler, the Browns would get an offset for anything he makes elsewhere. However, as Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com noted on Friday’s PFT Live, why would anyone pay Osweiler more than $775,000, the minimum salary for a player with five years of experience? Whatever Osweiler is paid, Cleveland pays the rest.
While this would reduce Cleveland’s total cost for a second-round pick in 2018 to $15.225 million (along with Cleveland giving up a 2017 fourth-round pick to Houston and getting a 2017 sixth-round pick back), there’s a way that Cleveland could reduce it even further. The Browns could give Osweiler the hot potato treatment, part two.
The Browns could ship him to a team like the Broncos (who were willing to pay him $16 million per year last season) for, say, $6 million. Like the Browns, which received a net gain in picks by picking up the contract, Cleveland could send a low-round pick in 2017 or 2018 to Denver to get them to take the contract and reduce significantly Cleveland’s financial burden.
Under that type of a deal, Cleveland would end up giving up $10 million in cash and cap space, getting a second-round pick in 2018 and a sixth-round pick in 2017, and giving up a fourth-round pick in 2017 plus whatever other pick they’d send to Denver to get them to pay Osweiler $6 million this year.
Of course, with Gary Kubiak gone in Denver, the Broncos may no longer want Osweiler. The Bills could be interested in Osweiler as a backup to Tyrod Taylor, given the presence of former Denver offensive coordinator Rick Dennison in Buffalo.
Other teams with connections to Osweiler include the Bears (John Fox) and the Dolphins (Adam Gase). The question is whether either would consider paying him $6 million and take a draft pick from Cleveland in return?
That’s likely the only way he’d be traded, making the guy who became the first player to be traded with his new team getting a net gain in draft picks also the first guy to be traded that way twice.