Who can say exactly when it became fun to track the movements of Brock Osweiler, the former trumped-up backup to Peyton Manning who signed a lucrative four-year deal with the Texans and has been spiraling his way back to Denver in the, umm, year since.
It’s incredible to think that Osweiler’s $37 million guaranteed contract in Houston was signed as recently as March 2016. In just the 18 months since, Osweiler set a Texans franchise record for interceptions in a season, and ultimately flamed out so badly that Houston dumped a draft pick just to get off his salary. The Browns, happy to have the pick swap that brought them an additional second-round pick in the 2018 draft, will pay $15.225 million of Osweiler’s $16 million 2017 salary, even though he will be wearing the uniform of the Broncos. Perhaps no player in recent memory has seen his game-day value sink so swiftly without some sort of corresponding catastrophic injury or disastrous legal trouble. Osweiler, it seems, is just really, really bad.
Osweiler will be the primary backup in Denver while Paxton Lynch recovers from a shoulder injury. It sounds like Broncos president John Elway is ready to give Osweiler the warm blanket and glass of hot cocoa he so badly needs in these trying times:
“I’m sure it’s been a tough one for him,” Elway said. “I know we thought a lot of Brock. He went 5-2 as a starter for us, and without Brock that year, we don’t win a Super Bowl.
“I’m sure it’s been a long 18 months for him. He’s been through a lot, I’m sure. ... He’s going to need a little football rehab, we know that. We’ll welcome him with open arms and give him some love.”
It’s not clear that the Broncos have any long-term plans for Osweiler, with Elway unwilling to commit to keeping him on the roster once Lynch returns to health.