The quarterback nobody wanted is now apparently the talk of the town.
The Browns allowed the Houston Texans to dump their trash on their garbage heap in order to recoup a second-round draft pick. Cleveland also agreed to take on Osweiler’s $16-million guaranteed salary in order to consummate the deal.
The belief was the Browns would simply cut Osweiler, but we’re into the second week of OTAs and the 6-foot-8 passer remains their property.
Cody Kessler is Cleveland’s preferred option, and the Browns used their 2017 second-round selection on quarterback DeShone Kizer. Osweiler doesn’t appear to be in the plans, not even for a rebuilding team in need of a quarterback with starting experience.
So why are they hanging on to him?
If you read the quotes coming out of Browns camp, you’ll note how head coach Hue Jackson and his staff have heaped praise on Osweiler, saying he’s a “pleasant surprise,” and not at all like what they had heard of him.
Osweiler himself also believes he’s still a starting-caliber quarterback.
That may not be the case, but he could still be of some value. The best-case scenario for Cleveland is that the club can continue stockpiling picks by finding a trade partner for Osweiler. There are no more teams in need of a starter, but he represents a competent backup option.
His contract is an albatross, but it contains a potential out after the 2017 season. His 2016 salary, 2017 salary, and roster bonuses for both years have already been accounted for.
If there’s a team willing to start fresh with Osweiler without the burden of his $72-million contract, the Browns will wait to mine another draft pick from them.
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