Osweiler comes a long way (unless the Browns still hope to trade him)

AP

In little more than three months, the attitude of the Cleveland Browns regarding quarterback Brock Osweiler has changed dramatically. Unless it hasn’t.

After the Browns traded for Osweiler on March 9, making him a footnote to the press release that focused on the second-round pick they acquired from the Texans, the reports emerged quickly and unanimously: The Browns would try to trade him to another team and, if that failed, they would cut him.

Surprisingly (or not), the Browns found no takers for all or a portion of his $16 million fully-guaranteed salary. But then they didn’t cut him, a prudent move given that someone else could have signed him for the veteran minimum, putting the Browns on the hook for more than $15 million in 2017.

So the Browns apparently decided that, if they’re going to pay him more than $15 million, they may as well keep him on the books for $16 million and use him as a camp arm throughout the offseason program. The question now becomes whether they truly and honestly view him as a factor in the supposedly open competition for the starting quarterback job — or whether they’re holding out hope that if they pump him up enough between now and Week One someone will trade for him, especially if one of the other 31 teams endures a Bridgewater-style break-glass emergency.

And so in an industry where prevarication has become standard operating procedure, there are two possible explanations: The Browns decided they were wrong about Osweiler when they traded for him or the Browns are simply setting up a potential eventual trade.

“I will tell you something, and I think coach [Hue] Jackson would back me up on this, Brock has been a pleasant surprise,” quarterbacks coach David Lee told reporters on Thursday. “Say what you want, but the guy in the last two years has taken two different teams to the playoffs and there is no one else in that room that can say that. Plus, he’s got six years of experience, whereas others have no years of experience. [DeShone] Kizer is fresh. He has been here four months, like me, and the other two were rookies last year. He’s the senior citizen, that is for sure. He does a good job with these other guys. DeShone and he have built a good rapport and they communicate a lot.”

But Lee seemed to echo Osweiler’s recent comments about his challenges with quarterbacking fundamentals, lumping the senior citizen in with the rookie by saying that “we have a long way to go with the lower body of Brock and DeShone.”

The praise hasn’t been reserved to Osweiler. Lee threw it around to all four throwers of the football.

“We have got a great room,” Lee said. “All four of those guys are smart, they study, they work and they ask great questions. . . . Cody [Kessler] has really improved here in the end of OTAs just on his distance and his velocity with a few things we have done in the lower body, and Kevin [Hogan] looked good today and went 3-for-3 and a couple touchdowns here in the red zone. They are progressing and getting better.”

That’s fine, but the Browns most likely won’t be keeping four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. So at some point they’ll have to decide whether to keep Osweiler on the final roster or dump Kessler or Hogan instead. If, along the way, someone offers a 2018 draft pick for Osweiler (and is likewise willing to eat all or most of his salary), they never have to make that decision.

The overriding point is this. If the Browns are smart (and they currently seem to be), they’d be praising Osweiler regardless of whether they truly deem him worthy of praise. With Tony Romo and Jay Cutler retired and Colin Kaepernick de facto blackballed, the guy who was benched for Peyton Manning one year and Tom Savage the next could still have value if/when another team suddenly becomes sufficiently desperate at some point between now and September.

41 responses to “Osweiler comes a long way (unless the Browns still hope to trade him)

  1. Brock has come a long way…you can tell that by checking out his frequent flier miles.

  2. so you just rent a hack at 17 mil per for nothing?

    why?

    this is one reason why the ratings are down

    bad qb product is everywhere

    entitled millennials thinking they are better than
    they are

  3. I think he is the best QB on the Browns roster. Whether that says more about Osweiler or more about the other QB’s remains to be seen. I don’t think you trade away your best QB.

  4. Osweiler is a good QB. He’s won a lot of football games in the NFL, including games that helped Denver win a super bowl. I think he’s had something like 5 different offensive coordinators throughout his young career. Denver seems like they’re capable of adding good QBs through the draft every year, so they weren’t required to win the bidding war for Brock. Houston is a train wreck, as far as their coaching situation goes, and Osweiler became available. Cleveland was smart to acquire him. He’s got a ton of talent. I don’t see a Tom Brady or Joe Montana on the Browns’ roster, so of course Brock’s their best QB.

  5. If the Browns are smart (and they currently seem to be),

    —————

    The Browns passed on Carson Wentz because they had IRG3, no need for a good young QB prospect, we can mold glass into steel. Instead they drafted a WR made of the same glass as IRG3, who now occupies their IR Allstar roster.

    These same Browns leaders passed on Mitch Trubisky, Patrick Mahommes and DeSean Watson because Cody “5yard hail mary” Kessler and instead drafted a DE who hurt his bad foot walking across a grass field, a kick returner in the first round and a tight end who can’t block or play tight end.

    Smart is not a term I would call the current Browns Management or Coaching. The polar opposite SCREAMS true.

  6. It’s got to be either Osweiler or Hogan leaving when the cuts happen. Kessler is a great backup, and obviously Kiser is safe first year automatically, even if he’s worse than Ryan Leaf, simply because they drafted him in the second.

  7. If the Browns are smart (and they currently seem to be)

    Remember last year when the Browns had 14 draft picks then proceeded to keep all 14 picks on their roster? That told me everything I needed to know about how smart this team is. Even the best of GMs miss on draft picks, there is always a crapshoot element to the NFL draft, especially in the later rounds. Keeping all 14 picks showed me the front office thought they could do no wrong.

    Another example of how brilliant this team is: they signed RG3.

  8. Brock’s high water mark was two years ago when he rallied Denver from a 14 point, 4th quarter deficit to beat the Pats. He looked really good. It’s been all down hill since. Not sure why.

  9. troylok says:
    Jun 17, 2017 9:12 AM
    I think he is the best QB on the Browns roster. Whether that says more about Osweiler or more about the other QB’s remains to be seen. I don’t think you trade away your best QB.

    ————-

    He may be the 2nd best QB in the division behind Ben

  10. tonebones says:
    Jun 17, 2017 9:34 AM
    Denver seems like they’re capable of adding good QBs through the draft every year, so they weren’t required to win the bidding war for Brock. Houston is a train wreck, as far as their coaching situation goes, and Osweiler became available.
    _________________________

    If Denver adds good QB’s through the draft every year then why do they keep having to draft them? There was no ‘bidding war’ for Osweiler, the Broncos didn’t have the cap room to get in one. Denver came in around $13m plus some incentives a year and Houston came in higher and with more guaranteed. Houston’s ‘coaching situation’ looks pretty good to any objective eye with no horse in the divisional race. Any coach that had winning records 3 years running since he arrived and went to the playoffs the last two years in a row with a revolving door of Osweiler, Savage, Hoyer, Mallett, Yates, Weeden, Fitzpatrick and Keenum as his starters deserves a medal not the derision of a keyboard warrior. If you consider the mess he’s been handed at QB (8 starters in 3 years) O’Brien has done a fair job of making chicken salad out of chicken bleep so far.

  11. Whether they keep him or cut him, they’re still stuck with the $16 million cap hit for 2017. They’re better off keeping him to see what he can do.

  12. If they truly are smart then Kevin Hogan is gone. Have a 2-way competition between your best 2 QB’s and bring the QB of the future along slowly and carefully. Don’t waste valuable time and reps on a QB who will never be at the top of this list.

  13. is personality has not changed at all since he became a Brown. Don’t let Hue’s coach talk fool anyone. One of the first interviews he had in fact got testy with a reporter – Osweiler “watch the tape, the tape speaks for itself” … Uh yeah, the tape DOES speak for itself. That’s why you’re a backup QB on a 1-15 rebuilding Browns team. I don’t see him in a Browns uniform week 1, so I really think they picked up the best Camp arm that was available AND improved their draft stock.

  14. Folks need to be reminded that before Brock left Denver (where he went 5-2 as starter) for the Texans, Elway had put a $30M offer on the table to Brock, which if Brock was so awful and/or Elway was so clever, wouldn’t have happened if Denver thought Brock was so awful.

    Brock’s Houston stats weren’t great, but it’s primarily stacked for D, and having reached the Divisonal round of the playoffs in his first bedding-in season with them (8-6 in games started), he should have been given a 2nd season or at least somewhat better treatment. Browns will benefit if he has the right talent/environment, at least enough to lift them out of the basement.

  15. He may be the 2nd best QB in the division behind Ben…ah, the offseason, when Browns fans lose their grip on reality…
    Dalton>Posweiler
    Flacco>Posweiler
    get back on your meds…if the Browns go 6-10, they’ve had a terrific season in 2017.

  16. The Texans are way overrated the coaching staff is a product of that magnificent PR staff which just won best BS artist in league for the 5th time. O’Brien is the Osweiler of coaches another McNair just gotta have…..

  17. Unless you can find a #3 QB willing to play for the veteran minimum — which is highly unlikely — the best thing to do financially is to keep Osweiler on the roster, because you’re going to have to pay for him anyway.

  18. I’ll say this about Houston QBs over the past few years…your QBs are not going to look good when your #1 receiver is unable to separate from even marginal DBs.

  19. I feel bad for the Browns fans that have convinced themselves that this wasn’t a bad trade. The Browns are spending 16 million and they got a 2nd round draft pick. 2nd round draft picks have about a 35% chance of being a starter in the NFL. For 16 million, the 49ers got Goodwin, who will start at wide receiver, Zuttah, who went to the pro-bowl last year and will start at center, Juszczyk, who went to the pro-bowl last year and will start at fullback and Malcolm Smith who is a former pro-bowler and Superbowl MVP – that’s 4 players that will contribute this year and make the team better. Again, the Browns got a backup QB and a 2nd round draft pick next year. This was one of the worst trades I’ve ever seen.

  20. The Browns are just a training camp injury to Sam Bradford away from parlaying Brock into a boatload of picks from the Minnesota Vikings.
    It’s already a forgone conclusion.
    Just relax and wait for the inevitable.

  21. paulniner79 says:
    Jun 17, 2017 1:39 PM
    For 16 million, the 49ers got Goodwin, who will start at wide receiver, Zuttah, who went to the pro-bowl last year and will start at center, Juszczyk, who went to the pro-bowl last year and will start at fullback and Malcolm Smith who is a former pro-bowler and Superbowl MVP – that’s 4 players that will contribute this year and make the team better. Again, the Browns got a backup QB and a 2nd round draft pick next year. This was one of the worst trades I’ve ever seen.
    *****************************************
    Who gives a darn what S.F. did !! Why do you even make the comment on this blog ?
    As far as Osweiler goes, sometimes QB’s aren’t in the right system. Maybe he fits into the Browns system better than Houston. He showed some raw skill in Denver. I hope the kid does well.

  22. As a Cardinals season ticket holder…I’m betting the Browns win at least 6 this year….and 8 is possible. In my view they are doing things right to turn the ship around. Good luck Browns fans.

  23. Re SF talk…..a ahahahahahahaha!!! Y’all are one of the worst teams on the league. Who’s your QB again? Yea 90% of 9ers fans could t name him or her.

  24. nhpats says:
    Jun 17, 2017 10:43 AM
    troylok says:
    Jun 17, 2017 9:12 AM
    I think he is the best QB on the Browns roster. Whether that says more about Osweiler or more about the other QB’s remains to be seen. I don’t think you trade away your best QB.

    ————-

    He may be the 2nd best QB in the division behind Ben

    ———-

    The same Ben who lost to Tebow in the playoffs?

  25. One additional point is the Browns o-line is likely to be better and by default, the quarterbacking and running game should be better.

    The Browns are going to likely pay this guy either way, so why not play him and see what you have? Is anyone seriously going to think the remaining QB’s are going to be that much better than BO?

  26. Let’s just make something clear: Osweiler didn’t “take” two teams to the playoffs. Manning & Broncos defense got them there with Osweiler’s help. Texans defense and a weak division got them in the playoffs DESPITE Osweiler’s crappy play. Osweiler couldn’t run the Texans offense, he saw phantoms when the OLine gave lots of time, and he made one of the best receivers in the NFL look less than average. Osweiler showed flashes, but that’s all they were.

    Yeah, Osweiler looks good without pads. And he says all the right phrases & cliches. Hook. Line. Sinker.

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