Osweiler negotiations were clean, simple


A good story always becomes better when it has rich, controversial behind-the-scenes details. The story of how Brock Osweiler left the Broncos for the Texans, while intriguing on the surface, doesn’t have much drama behind it.

Yes, the Broncos unnecessarily delayed the process by giving quarterback Peyton Manning time to consider his future before making an offer to Osweiler. When the first offer came from the Broncos (without, per a league source, an opener from Osweiler’s camp), the numbers were much lower than the three-year, $45 million figure that was leaked to the media.

Only the Texans were interested, but like most teams now do the Texans didn’t articulate a position until the legal tampering period opened. (The relationship between the Broncos and Texans G.M. Rick Smith, who previously worked in Denver, made shenanigans less likely.) So the Texans waited until the window opened, and they made a significantly better offer than the Broncos did.

The Broncos then increased their offer to north of $16 million per year, but with guaranteed money well below the $37 million offered by Houston. Still, the Broncos made a compelling argument for taking less, arguing that despite the length of the current contract this was potentially a 10-year decision, if things work out.

Last month at the Scouting Combine, Elway made it clear in an interview with NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk that he envisioned a short-term mid-level deal followed by, if all works out, a big-money contract. “I think we do have a system that fits Brock very well,” Elway said. “So for Brock to have continued success, I don’t think will be, this won’t be his big contract, but this will be a contract where he’ll be able to make very good money and be able to prove himself that could lead to that next big contract.”

Instead, that first big contract will be paid by Houston. But there’s a real risk that comes from changing teams, sight unseen. Osweiler accepted the terms from Houston without meeting the coaching staff, ownership, other players, or anyone else. Maybe it will all work out, maybe it won’t. Regardless, it will play out under the weight of enormous pressure and expectations.

It’s happening that way because the Broncos ultimately reached a number they refused to pass, a trademark of G.M. John Elway’s leadership. And it definitely didn’t help that Osweiler had been yanked late in the regular season, even if it was the result of a middle-finger-fueled power play by Peyton Manning.

For the Texans, it remains a gamble. A $37 million gamble, to be precise. Will Osweiler thrive in Bill O’Brien’s offense? Will Osweiler be able to adjust once defenses have enough film to figure out his tendencies and tells and his likes and dislikes?

The pressure will definitely be on Osweiler in September. For now, the pressure is on Elway for find a quarterback on whom the pressure will be in September, too. Possibly in a Week One showdown with Osweiler.

26 responses to “Osweiler negotiations were clean, simple

  1. Osweiler accepted the terms from Houston without meeting the coaching staff, ownership, other players, or anyone else.


    Yeah, this always ends well. Btw, anyone seen Osweiler’s numbers compared to Hoyer’s from when he got the starting job back from white nose? Eerily similar. I’m not saying, but I’m just saying, lol.

  2. “Instead, that first big contract will be paid by Houston. But there’s a real risk that comes from changing teams, sight unseen.”


    Which tells you he wanted out of Denver. Elway really played the wrong hand in that negotiations if this guy turns out to be a great qb in the league.

  3. Didn’t this guy have like 10 td’s and 7 Int’s in 7 starts?? On a great team with great WR’s?

    That translates to 22 Td’s and 16 Int’s over a full season.

    Sorry, but I don’t see how anyone can speculate and pay this guy so much money. RARELY does this type of speculation pay off.

    I think the Broncos were smart not to get into a bidding war. Stats like those are fairly easy to replace, and it shouldn’t cost $18 mill/ year to get that.

  4. “If you take less money now, I may give you the big money later”.

    Elway sounds like one of those crooks on a house flipping TV show who tell their laborers, “I’m over budget. If you do the work on this house for below minimum wage, I’ll give you more future work and pay you the big money later. I promise”.

  5. Want more money and less taxes? Want to play where you have a real chance to be the best quarterback the team has ever had? Want to stay in the game if you help get us to the playoffs?

    Oh. Well….. want to get out of the same state as that crazy drunk pizza chick?

  6. Isn’t anyone surprised the guy was more than ok with leaving Denver?

    I mean, he went from hero on the cover of Sports Illustrated, to watching Manning, with no arm strength, get carried to a SB… the entire time, basically being shown that they think he’s so dumb that his incredible physical advantages over Manning didn’t make up for Peyton’s ability to check call audibles on run plays.

    Then he couldn’t even negotiate a contract because he had to wait for Manning to decide to do what everyone knew he would do. He was either being released or retiring, but Brock still had to wait while everyone appeased Manning. THEN he retires and he’s supposed to buy Elways BS about him being “the man”?… that’s a tough sell.

  7. I understand why Osweiler would go the route where he bets on himself and takes the larger guaranteed money.

    But my crystal ball tells me that this is going to work out badly. He’s leaving one of the best run teams in the NFL and aside from a stud offensive line, a QB has no better friend than a dominant defense. And if the rumor is true that Osweiler took his benching “personally”, then it doesn’t speak very well of his character and his ability to become a good QB on a team that isn’t going to provide him with the defense and offensive weapons that Denver would have.

    My biggest problem with this whole thing is that this deal should be a big, flashing red light that shows how ABSURDLY VALUED the QB position is now in the NFL with all of their rule changes the past two decades. Something is VERY WRONG when a guy like Osweiler who has proved NOTHING in this league can get this kind of money.

    I don’t blame the Texans for making the offer. I blame the NFL for changing the game so that 1 guy on the field has become several magnitudes more important than the other 21 guys on the field.

  8. Just as the contract for Ostweiler is a $37 million gamble over four years, it is a $640 million gamble for Denver (using $160 million salary cap) which may have just wasted four years of the remainder of the team. Wanna bet who’s on the warmer chair?

  9. Is the going rate for a starting NFL QB anything less than what Houston is paying ? Would I rather have a guy w/ 4 yrs experience who was in the QB room w/ Peyton Manning that entire time or have a Hoyer or Fitzpatrick start week 1 and HOPE my 2nd round QB pans out ? Didn’t Arron Rodgers sit behind a future hall of famer for a few years ? How’s THAT working out ? Does this 2 year, $37m deal preclude Houston from still drafting a QB in the event that Osweiler either isn’t as good as they hoped or is more expensive in 2 years vs. whomever they may draft ?

    And no one is mentioning that Houston had $38m more in cap space than Denver.

    As for Brock, he’ll make $2m more per season in Houston (not huge by NFL standards for QB’s) AND not pay the state income tax in CO which is over 4% vs. 0% in TX. That’s over $1.7m in tax savings in the first 2 years.

  10. FYI, Sam Bradford signed pretty much the same deal. He’s proven to be average at best when he’s on the field and injury prone.

    Speaking of Bradford, his rookie contract in 2010 was 6 years, $72m. No NFL history, hadn’t learned behind a Peyton Manning. This isn’t nearly the risk people are making it out to be.

  11. deneb1973 says:
    Mar 10, 2016 12:30 PM
    Just as the contract for Ostweiler is a $37 million gamble over four years, it is a $640 million gamble for Denver (using $160 million salary cap) which may have just wasted four years of the remainder of the team. Wanna bet who’s on the warmer chair?

    If you are trying to insinuate that Elway is sitting on anything besides a nice comfy recliner then you know nothing about football or the World Champion Denver Broncos.

  12. -Took 27 sacks in 7 games
    -Mid 50s QBR (lower then Hoyer in that same span)
    -Routinely had balls batted down at the line of scrimmage- despite being 6’8″
    -Went 3 straight games without scoring in the second half. (An NFL record)
    -Was up 17 points in the second half with the #1 defense and lost in Pittsburgh
    -Lost at home vs Raiders with the #1 defense
    -Couldn’t score against Chargers at home (who had nothing to play for-missing several starters including Eric Weddle) and was benched for it in week 17

    Texans: You don’t give that guy $37 million guaranteed
    Brock: You would have been stupid not to take the $37 million guaranteed

    I was a fan of Bill O’Brien on Hardknocks last year but his “QB Guru” status is way overblown. He’s another guy Tom Brady has given a career to.

    Best of luck Brock.

  13. Dude already has a ring and got to sit pretty much his entire rookie contract while having games played. He could blow out a knee the first game next season. Don’t blame him one bit for getting a fresh start. Ol’ Elway is starting to play the “you’re lucky to be a Bronco so you’ll take less” game is he?

    Be interesting if ol’ horseface can do anything without Manning at the helm. He’s darn lucky Wade Phillips is a 3-4 mastermind, especially with some actual talent to toy with.

    Also, here’s a piece of advice John. The Talib time bomb is ticking, trade him while you can ’cause he’s gonna blow. Soon

  14. klutch14u says:
    Mar 10, 2016 12:43 PM

    Be interesting if ol’ horseface can do anything without Manning at the helm. He’s darn lucky Wade Phillips is a 3-4 mastermind, especially with some actual talent to toy with.

    So the GM responsible for bringing those two guys in gets none of the credit for doing so? Perfect logic.

  15. I don’t think I’ve ever seen opposing quarterbacks playing on the field at the same time, so can’t we give it a rest with the whole ‘dueling quarterbacks’ rhetoric? They play against the opposing defenses, not each other.

    You really can’t blame Osweiler for leaving. Between yanking him for a less capable QB in Manning(face it..he was garbage on the field this year when it came to actual play..the mind was there but the body wasn’t willing) and then waiting for Manning to decide whether he was going to retire before even tendering an offer, they made it plain that he was their second choice and I know I would have felt like there was no job security at all in that situation, especially with a contract offer with very little guaranteed money.

  16. Denver really slammed the door in his face.

    1.Elway decided to go cheap, compared to other QB’s with much less credentials/experience. Wash outs like Flynn, Mc Coy and Hoyer were making approximately more $.
    2.Osweiler had the reigns while Manning injured, and did a pretty good job. But as soon a grandpa got better, he was benched. Nothing like playing for the future of the franchise. It was common knowledge that Manning was gonna retire. And pretty obvious that donkeys were winning despite Manning’s failings.

    These two insults, didn’t give Osweiler a warm fuzzy about his future in Denver.

  17. With all the time they had invested in Brock, how did Elway ever let this happen. Hope the kid has a great career.

  18. The Broncos lucked out in not getting stuck with Nick Foles 2.0, well to be fair to Foles a much less tested and proven Nick Foles 2. Brock will not live up to his contract, the guy is a stiff, I have no idea what the dummies in Houston were thinking.

  19. The extent of comparison between Osweiler and Hoyer is a) they’re both male, b) they both play in the NFL, and c) they both play quarterback. Time will tell what Osweiler will end up being, but you already know what Hoyer is.

    Second, Houston paid less than $2m/year more than what Denver was offering. Elway didn’t want to pay top 10 money, but he’d pay top 11 money? Would everyone be saying how Denver over paid if he took their offer…$16m+/year, $30m guaranteed? Osweiler obviously wanted a change of scenery. The CBA and higher salary cap did what the player’s association wanted it to do…trickle money down to players.

  20. He wanted to be paid like an elite quarterback and that he is not. He will be a bust in Houston.

  21. To all of those who think the Broncos did wrong by sitting Brock and going with Peyton for the playoffs, consider the AFC Championship game against New England. How well would Brock have fared against Belichick with all the marbles on the line in their second matchup? Would he have been able to decipher some of the defenses he would have been presented with? Manning threw two quality TDs in that game that Brock might not have. Of course we’ll never know but experience against a Belichick defense – in an AFC title matchup – counts for a lot.

    Secondly, I think Brock made a big mistake going to Houston. Look at Elway’s track record. He’s been one of the very best and the Broncos have been consistently excellent under his leadership as both a player and a GM.

    Now look at Houston. Inconsistency defines them.

    I wish Brock well but I think he’s going to regret his decision while watching the Broncos head back to the playoffs year after year while he could very well be sitting at home most years.

  22. I like Hoyer but he’s been given two starting jobs on two teams and failed, making bad decisions at critical times. He’s a backup regardless of his stats.

    Now, it’s Brock’s turn to succeed or fail. Texans made the right move. Nothing’s a sure thing in the NFL but this deal seems like a good gamble.

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