Get ready to point and laugh, Broncos Country.
Brock Osweiler, the former Denver Broncos heir apparent, left Denver for much greener pastures with the Houston Texans.
How much greener? Oh, just $72 million dollars.
John Elway reportedly wanted Osweiler back, but in the bidding war that ensued and Osweiler's unwillingness to open a line of communication with the Broncos ultimately led to his departure.
Though I believe it was a mixture of both the money offered and Osweiler's desire to leave, the money ultimately made the decision a simple business choice for him.
However, the people at Pro Football Focus are calling the Texans' decision to give Osweiler a dump truck full of cash the single worst offseason move of any NFL team in 2016.
1. Texans handing Brock Osweiler $72 million based on seven games
No move this offseason has the potential to torpedo a franchise quite like this one. The Texans have been faced with quarterback troubles for awhile, and so you can understand their anxiety about needing to find their franchise signal-caller. Given where they were picking in the draft, they had little to no chance of getting one of the top two available rookies, so they went all-in on free agency, instead. The problem, though, is that there wasn’t a sure-thing in free agency, or even close to it. The Texans ended up handing Brock Osweiler a $72 million contract based on just seven games of starting action in the NFL.
That would be risky if those were seven all-pro caliber games, but they were seven games of average play that saw him benched for a geriatric Peyton Manning—who, at times, seemed more likely to throw the ball to opposing players than his own last season—because Denver felt he gave them the better chance to win big games. Obviously Manning has a certain level of built-up benefit of the doubt, but even in a competition to simply steer the ship, Osweiler was second-best on his own team last season. Now Houston needs him to do significantly more than that.
In his 2015 starts, he recorded a passer rating of 95.9 when kept clean, completing 66.5 percent of his passes at 7.3 yards per attempt; when the heat was applied, those numbers fell to a passer rating of 66.9, a completion percentage of 52.2, and 6.9 yards per attempt. It is impossible to definitively declare that Osweiler will fail from the evidence we have of his play, but it is equally impossible to be sure of his success going forward—which a $72 million contract pretty much necessitates. Bill O’Brien and the Houston Texans are gambling huge on Osweiler, which would be easier to accept had they not been so adamant a year ago that their quarterback group was far better than people believed.
Now that our orange and blue goggles have been removed, we see Osweiler for what he actually was ... a below average quarterback. A below average quarterback that just received a massive, nay monster-mega, deal from the Texans.
Be honest. How pissed would you have been had that been the Broncos' offer in March to keep Osweiler on the team?
I would have been livid. Mark Sanchez is basically the same quarterback and a fraction of the cost. And now, Paxton Lynch offers a glimpse of potential that the Broncos may be able to develop into a far superior long-term quarterback option than Osweiler would ever have been.
I can live with that.