I've kept my mouth shut on this subject long enough. I simply can't take any of this nonsensical garbage anymore, so I have to speak out. Kirk Cousins got franchise tagged you say? Sam Bradford just got extended by the Eagles too? Hip hip hooray. Why the heck do we care? Newsflash people, Cousins and Bradford have nothing, I repeat, nothing to do with Brock Osweiler, and here's why!
Update Alert: We all heard the "rumor" that Brock has a "substantial offer" from the Broncos, but that is pure speculation and rumor mill fodder. We play this game every single year, and basically, I am tired of it. I stand by every word in this article, and until an offer sheet is signed, or details are announced, I won't include it. Why? Because last year, we were hours or minutes away from signing DT seemingly every day; until we didn't and he held out. We've already seen it this year too. Weren't we signing Von so quickly that we were going to be able to use the franchise tag on Malik? Yeah, that never happened either. When will people wake up to the fact that until contracts are signed, they don't exist. So no, I won't allow those contract rumors to affect my opinion on this situation. And for the record, if this "substantial offer" is anywhere north of $12m/year, then the Broncos are a lot less smart and well run going into the future than I hoped.
Now back to your regularly scheduled post.
First of all, only poorly run franchises throw ridiculous amounts of money at mediocre talent. Case in point, Cousins and Bradford and Tannehill making stupid mad money. Refresh my memory for a second, but when was the last time the phrase "their front office knows how to assemble a championship caliber team" has been spoken about the Redskins, Eagles, or Dolphins? Take your time, I have all day! Exactly my point. You'll have to go back at least a full generation if not longer.
When was the last time the Eagles were relevant? Andy Reed and Donovan McNabb. To be fair, that was only a decade ago. But that ship has long past sailed, and in the "what have you done for me lately" league that is the NFL, the Eagles have last looked like a laughing stock.
Elway maintains a long term vision for the Broncos
On Wednesday, The Afternoon Drive with Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro discussed an interesting topic relating to John Elway and how he conducts his roster building.
Ok, but that's but one example you say. Ok, how about those Redskins then? Hmm... Mark Rypien? We're talking the 1980's and 1990's. That is almost an entire new generation in America ago! Half the Broncos fans weren't even born then.
"Fine Pete, you've made your point, but what does this have to do with Oz?" you say? No, not so fast. You aren't getting off the hook that easy. The Dolphins also signed Tannehill to a stupid money contract. When was the last time they were relevant? Dan Marino? Yeah, that's the same draft class as Mr. John "The Provider" Elway. So yes, the 1980's and 1990's. So the same "generation ago" crowd as the Redskins (or for you uppity type, the "unnamed" franchise"). So lets just say that it's been a minute since the Dolphins were synonymous with "winners."
Ok, so now we come to Osweiler, the "heir apparent" to you-know-who.
Allow me to slap the ridiculous attempts at "Brock is da best" arguments that I have read over and over again like a doctor slaps a newborn baby's ass.
"Brock beat New England and Cincy": False: The defense beat the Pats and Bengals. Brock helped put the Broncos in 14+ point deficits. The defense helped bail them out. As well as CJ Anderson.
"Brock is 5-2 as a starter": True, but that's like saying "you know who" won the Super Bowl. The Defense did and you all know it.
"This is a 'what have you done for me lately league. Brock has won, so his price is through the roof": False. The last time we saw Brock, he got BENCHED. So in the "what have you done for me lately" league, the answer is "you got benched for a QB that couldn't play dead in a western."
Ok, now onto the crux of my argument: Brock lacks the experience to be given anything but a middle of the road contract. I'm talking in the $10-12 million per year range. If you want to guarantee the money so he takes less, that's fine. If you want to put incentives on it for his performance, that's fine. But to straight up pay him more than that is simply irresponsible.
You say Cousins and Bradford set the market for "average" QB's? I'll see you that and raise you "Brock isn't in their class yet." Don'e believe me? Here, let's break it down, shall we?
Kirk Cousins: 25 starts
Sam Bradford: 63 starts
Ryan Tannehill: 64 out of a possible 64 starts
RGIII: 35 starts
Brock Osweiler: 7 starts
It's beginning to look like someone is lacking in the starting QB role department.
But wait, there's more: Do you know who else was the "hot young QB with no experience" to get a big contract?
Matt Flynn: 7 starts
Oh.My.God!!! Brock is in the EXACT same boat as Matt "I'm worthless" Flynn. Do you really want that to be your mega money quarterback? Seriously? Signing Brock to anything more than a pedestrian contract is the same as signing Flynn to anything more than a pedestrian contract. They have the same experience. They even have similar stats. Don't believe me? Here, take a look.
Osweiler: 7 starts, 2126 yards, 61.3% completion percentage, 11 TD, 6 INT 86 QB rating
Flynn: 7 starts, 2541 yards, 61.3% completion percentage, 17 TD, 11 INT 86 QB rating
Holy F'ity F'ing F Batman. They are IDENTICAL.
So again Broncos Country, is signing Brock to anything but an extremely team friendly deal a good idea?
"yeah, but the NFL needs QB's. He's the best of all that is left" you say? Allow me to re-phrase that for you: "He's the best of the mediocre QB's left."
When you scrub the homerism off of him, when you eliminate the fact that he's worn orange and blue before, and you get rid of the "he's studied under Peyton for 4 years" (so did Curtis freaking Painter), you'll see that Brock really isn't all that impressive. No more impressive than Matt Flynn who did more with his starts than Brock, and with lesser weapons around him.
So ask yourself this Broncos Country: Why would you want a guy who compares more closely to Matt Flynn than he does to Bradford on the Broncos for big money? Why? To see him become a bust because he doesn't live up to the contract? Remember, you never hear the phrase "Rusty Smith" was a bust, but you do hear "Matt Flynn was a mistake" for a reason. The only difference is one of them never had a high dollar contract to live up to, and the other one did. This is the dangerous territory that Brock is quickly approaching.
If Brock takes whatever pedestrian "this won't be his big contract" deal that John Elway gives him, he will never have "bust" next to his name, because the pressure to play beyond his price tag simply won't be there. But if he chases the money, it will.
You see, quarterbacks are different than any other position in the NFL. While nobody can chastise Malik Jackson for chasing money, you can chastise Brock for doing the same simply because the quarterback is protected and can have a much, much, much longer career to make that money back than any other position in the NFL.
If Brock chases the money now and doesn't exceed the price tag, he's done. That contract will be the last contract he gets. Those dollars will be all he has for the rest of his life. However, if he takes the discount and plays even slightly above the discounted rate, then his NEXT contract will be larger and guess what? He'll end up making more money by looking at the long term. If he sticks around for 3 contracts because he took a hit on the first one, he will net so much more money than gambling on the high money deal right now because he's far too raw to realistically produce at a $19-20 million dollar level. It can't be done or else he wouldn't have been benched against San Diego.
Like you all, I want what's best for the Broncos, and what's best for the Broncos is to not spend big money on any quarterback. Not Osweiler, not anyone, and what is best for Osweiler is to realize that quarterbacks are different, they have the ability to "make up for lost money" that the rest of the players can't do. Their shelf lives are simply that much longer.
So get this notion that just because Cousins and Bradford signed big money contracts means that Brock is gonna get straight paid out of your head. Only a bad organization will overpay for Brock. No self-respecting, well run organization will. They will know that Brock is Matt Flynn all over again. Flynn probably would still be making decent money in the NFL had he signed for a pedestrian contract because he wouldn't have the spine breaking pressure to live up to big money on his shoulders.
Matt Flynn, not Kirk Cousins should be what Brock looks at when making his decision.
Take the discount now so he can make it up later instead of taking the money now and cracking under the pressure of that money. Buyer beware: Inexperienced QBs never live up to the big money contracts. So why gamble on it? Again, the smart organizations won't. The poorly run ones like Cleveland will.