The Cleveland Browns were believed to be cutting quarterback Brock Osweiler after trading for him, but could he wind up starting?
In a move many saw as a salary dump by the Houston Texans, quarterback Brock Osweiler was shipped to the Cleveland Browns along with a second-round pick. The Browns gave up just a fourth-rounder and the belief was they were happy to pay Osweiler’s $16 million salary this season in order to get that 2018 second-rounder.
Conventional wisdom was that Cleveland would then cut Osweiler—NBA style—and everyone would be happy. Now we’re nearly a month removed from the deal and Osweiler is still a member of the Browns.
Head coach Hue Jackson said that, as long as he remains such, he will compete like everyone else. Per Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com, here’s all of what Jackson had to say:
“Obviously, he’s a player on our team and we’re going to treat him just like we do all of our other quarterbacks until he’s not.
“He’s a guy that’s gonna come in and compete. We haven’t had an opportunity to meet with him from a football standpoint because of the rules. But once we start our offseason program, phase one, we’ll get a chance to know him and he’ll get to know us.”
What if Osweiler does compete and is actually good? The Browns are believed to be spending their first-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on a defensive end, Myles Garrett. After that, there’s no guarantee that any other quarterback worth starting immediately will be available. So who is to say Osweiler may not be their best option in 2017?
Of course, many will laugh and point to the struggles of Osweiler in 2016 with the Texans. That, however, was such a bad fit, it may not be fair to completely write him off. From the start, he and Houston head coach Bill O’Brien never saw eye-to-eye. They didn’t meet before the big contract was signed and there were reports all season long about the two exchanging words in heated arguments.
Perhaps working with someone like Jackson could be beneficial for Osweiler. For Jackson, it may be just as good to have an experienced player. The 6-8 passer has 21 career starts and has won 13 of those. He also is 1-1 as a starter in the playoffs. It’s true that he isn’t a long term answer, but Cleveland is paying him in 2017 regardless of what he does on the field.
Why not give him the chance to compete and see if he could be their best option next year? If the plan now is to start Cody Kessler, then it makes just as much sense to give Osweiler the chance to prove himself as a starter.