Whether the Browns find a trade partner or cut Osweiler, the deal that sent him to Cleveland from Houston was designed to free up cap space for the Texans and bring added draft equity to the Browns. Regardless of where Osweiler finds himself once the dust settles, he'll have much to prove in order to gain a chance to start again following a financially rewarding, but frustrating on-field effort in 2016.
Per the Houston Chronicle, in exchange for taking on Osweiler's hefty contract, the Texans also sent a the Browns a second-round draft pick in 2018 and exchanged a sixth-round choice this year for a fourth-rounder from the Browns. The deal makes sense for both sides, as the Browns can use the draft pick to rebuild and could also use another body at quarterback, while Houston has a much more competitive roster that could benefit from the additional cap space. The Texans will presumably use some of that cap space to acquire Tony Romo or another quarterback. Meanwhile, Osweiler could be in the mix for the starting job in Cleveland, where Robert Griffin, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan are all under contract, at least for the time being.
As was the case in virtually every game he started in a considerably disappointing first season in Houston, Osweiler underwhelmed Saturday, and his mistakes ultimately sealed the
The game plan coming into the game was to lean on Lamar Miller, who had 31 of the team's 44 rushing attempts, but Osweiler was effective in spurts and scrambled for 15 yards, including a one-yard touchdown run. He got comfortable throwing to the tight ends early, then started connecting with wideout DeAndre Hopkins, and didn't turn the ball over. That was enough for head coach Bill O'Brien to return Osweiler to the starting job he'd lost in Week 14. He was ably assisted by the league's top-ranked defense (301.3 ypg), which forced three turnovers. This was a good complementary game for the Texans, who will need a similar recipe next weekend.
O'Brien chalked it up to the intensity of the game while Osweiler prefers to keep the incident between himself and the coach. Each said they were focused on Saturday afternoon's playoff game against the Raiders. Osweiler acquitted himself well when filling in last week for Tom Savage, who has been ruled out for the wild-card round due to a concussion. Brandon Weeden, active for the just third time this season, will back up Osweiler on Saturday. We suspect O'Brien will have a long leash, no matter how many intense football conversations he has with Osweiler.
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