Brock Osweiler and the Denver Broncos parted ways this week, as the quarterback spurned them to sign a more lucrative deal with the Houston Texans. When you go 5-2 as a starter and are relegated to the bench when older-than-dirt Peyton Manning is ready to throw wobbly ducks again, that could rub someone the wrong way.
And maybe it did.
Osweiler signed a four-year, $72 million deal ($37 million guaranteed) with the Texans after the Broncos reportedly offered a little less. Money is the greatest and everyone should have lots of it, but doesn’t it seem strange that Osweiler would leave a championship team and a system he knows for a lesser team over the matter of a few million bucks?
Perhaps it was because Osweiler felt disrespected.
Osweiler denied going silent for a couple of weeks, but it certainly seems like he was being pushed aside for a dead-armed Papa Johns spokesman during the season, and then again in negotiations as Manning announced his retirement. That sent him a message. Yahoo’s Charles Robinson chronicled how this ended like it did:
To get an idea how this went down, start with the failure to reach an extension prior to the 2015 season. At that time, there were signs Manning’s play was headed for a stiff decline. And there clearly was a gambling element to wait on a new Osweiler deal. … It also didn’t help that Denver went out of its way after the season to handle Manning with kid gloves, waiting to advance negotiations until it became crystal clear that Manning was retiring. … So Denver waited for Manning, and Osweiler had time to sit and stew. He had time to think about the benching and what it would be like to take the team over if Manning left. And he had time to consider whether his growth and success would instantly be measured against a Hall of Fame quarterback who rode into the sunset after a Super Bowl-winning season.
General manager John Elway offered the players who “want to be here” cry baby response instead of thanking the guy who allowed them to play a home game against the Patriots in the AFC title game instead of being a wild card team or not a playoff team at all. If Osweiler goes 3-4 (or doesn’t beat the Patriots in the regular season), the Broncos probably don’t win a Super Bowl.
But hey, sniping is fun! As will the week leading into next season’s Texans-Broncos game.