This very interesting read from ESPN Insider discussed "bold moves" each AFC Team should make. From the Kansas City Chiefs cutting Jamaal Charles to the Oakland Raiders trying to drop two first round picks to trade for Von Miller, the list covered both the plausible and the crazy impossible scenarios.
For the Denver Broncos, it was more plausible and reasonable.
Denver faces a very real possibility that Peyton Manning will retire and Osweiler (a free agent) will jump on a desperate team's offer, leaving the Broncos without a quarterback to defend their title in 2016.
Nonetheless, we would call Osweiler's bluff and lowball him a back-loaded contract for three years in the range of $12 million per year, which is below average for a starting quarterback in today's market. Right now, 18 quarterbacks have a contract that averages at least $16 million per season; Luck will likely make that 19 soon. Based on his seven starts, Osweiler has not earned this type of contract yet. He was solid, but he has to do much better at getting rid of the ball and avoiding mistakes -- his turnover rate was helped by four dropped interceptions in limited playing time.
When it comes to quarterbacks, most NFL teams are tied to an expensive contract or have spent a recent first-round pick. There are very few destinations for Osweiler to go to, but would places like Cleveland, Los Angeles and Houston really be that attractive to him? Denver is built to win right now with a great defense and some nice parts on offense. Osweiler also should recognize that Denver's talent core is the best place for him to succeed now, which means earning more money down the road. John Elway doesn't need to overpay him before he has earned it.
This is exactly what I hope John Elway and his team intends to do with Brock Osweiler. Don't get me wrong, I like Osweiler and how he might grow into the starting quarterback position, but his play in 2015 does not warrant a huge contract.
In fact, it warrants exactly what Scott Kacsmar and Aaron Schatz wrote in this piece. About $12 million a year with some back-loaded safety for the Broncos if Osweiler flops.
As we covered on Monday, Ian Rapoport says the Broncos are doing 'everything they can' to resign Osweiler. That is a very ambiguous statement. It could mean throwing good money after bad to ensure he stays no matter what or it could mean the Broncos are trying to resign Osweiler for what he is worth in reality, not for what he is worth to a quarterback desperate team like the Cleveland Browns.
Whatever the case may be, the drama is likely to unfold over the next few weeks. Hopefully the final result doesn't damage the Broncos long term plans too much. Elway does prefer to 'win from now on', you know.