The first big quarterback trade of the offseason doesn’t involve Tony Romo, but instead sees the Houston Texans clear cap space by shipping Brock Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns along with a 2018 second round draft pick for a 2016 fourth-round pick, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller.
The trade helps get Osweiler, who was a bust after signing a four-year, $72 million contract last offseason, off the Texans books so they can pursue the likes of Tony Romo or another free agent quarterback more easily.
For the Browns, the 2018 second round pick is by far the most valuable aspect of this trade. With an astounding $100 million in cap space, Cleveland can eat the $16 million that Osweiler will make this season without it crippling their future cap space too much should they choose to cut him next offseason. Cleveland also could cut Robert Griffin III soon to cut down on the cost of the trade.
The Browns also are considering just cutting Osweiler immediately, as often happens in NBA salary dumps, being that they have so much space to work with.
Whatever happens with Osweiler, whether he stays this season or is let go immediately, it doesn’t change much in the way of draft strategy for the Browns, who are still in need of a franchise quarterback of the future. After starting the day by beefing up their offensive line with big paydays to Joel Bitonio and Kevin Zeitler, the Browns can look to the draft to fix other positions. Myles Garrett is the presumptive No. 1 overall pick after his incredible NFL Combine performance, but the No. 12 pick remains an option for Cleveland to go searching for quarterback help should they choose to.
If not, there will be plenty of other chances to take a quarterback over the next two years.
For once, it seems like the Browns have made a prudent move for the future. It’s not as though the Texans lost this trade significantly, as they got what they want as well, which is Osweiler off their books so they can now fully pursue a veteran star quarterback like Tony Romo to make a push towards a deep playoff run.