The most ironic signing of a player previously released by another team during preseason cuts is Brock Osweiler.
The Denver Broncos signed the embattled quarterback on Saturday. This comes just a day after the Cleveland Browns decided to release him mere months after assuming his massive contract from the Houston Texans. Denver is signing him to a one-year, $775,000 deal which provides slight relief for the Browns.
Brock Osweiler Signs With Denver Broncos
The Broncos originally selected Osweiler in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Over the next three seasons, he appeared in just 13 games and completed a mere 17 passes with Peyton Manning the incumbent starter. But in 2015, he took over for an injured Manning in Week 11 and proceeded to go 5-2 as the starting quarterback for the remainder of the regular season.
Nevertheless, Manning replaced him during the playoffs that season. Behind a fearsome defense and the future Hall of Famer functioning as a game manager at quarterback, the Broncos won Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers. Manning retired afterwards, leaving Osweiler as the starter in waiting. But that off-season, he decided to chase the money.
The Houston Texans took a gamble on a quarterback with seven career starts in four seasons, signing Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million deal on March 9, 2016. It included $37 million in guaranteed money and made him the 21st highest paid player in the NFL. That turned out to be a bad move.
Osweiler flopped in 2016, throwing 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. His 72.2 quarterback rating ranked second worst in the league among regular starters behind only Ryan Fitzpatrick. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien benched him in favor of Tom Savage in week 15. But he returned in the playoffs after Savage suffered a concussion in the final week of the season.
Against the New England Patriots in the divisional round, Osweiler threw a touchdown and three interceptions and finished with a quarterback rating of 47.6. It turned out to be his final game in Houston as the Texans traded him to the Browns exactly one year after signing with the team. And his performance in the preseason prompted Cleveland to cut ties despite owing him the remainder of his guaranteed money.
Osweiler will serve as a backup to Trevor Siemian who Broncos head coach Vance Johnson named as starter ahead of Paxton Lynch. Lynch suffered a shoulder injury during the preseason but will likely reassume the backup role once healthy.