Just days after losing prized quarterback Peyton Manning to retirement, the Super Bowl champions Denver Broncos lost another quarterback Brock Osweiler to free agency Wednesday.
According to several reports, Osweiller had already agreed to terms with the Houston Texans hours before the free agency deadline started at 4 PM EST. Under the terms of the deal, Osweiler agreed to a four-year contract worth $72 million, with $37 million guaranteed. This means Osweiler would make $18 million a year, which puts him in the top third of quarterback salaries.
Even after the retirement of Peyton Manning and with knowledge that Osweiler’s contract would expire Wednesday afternoon, Denver Broncos VP and GM John Elway refused to offer him more than $16 million a year and a guaranteed $30 million. As early as last week, Elway had the feeling that Osweiler was not eager to don the Broncos uniform again next season.
Unlike Denver who had serviceable quarterbacks in Manning and Osweiler, the Texans lacked one that could generate clutch victories. With Osweiler, the Texans may have finally nailed such quarterback. Prior to the deal, Houston experimented with the likes of Hoyer, Ryan Mallett and Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2014.
The latter has become a free agent late Wednesday after rejecting the offer tendered by the New York Jets. There would be no surprises if the Broncos sign Fitzpatrick right away. After Fitzpatrick, the top free agent quarterback was unlikely to make an impression.
Another possible quarterback that the Broncos could sign is Matt Schaub whom Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak handled when he was in Houston from 2007 – 13 and Baltimore as offensive coordinator in 2014.
During his first three seasons with the Broncos, Osweiler served as backup for Manning and started only seven games late this past season. There were instances when he showed his impressive side when he started in the Broncos final seven regular season games but even in the same game he showed his inexperience as a passer.