THERE were two tantrums thrown by quarterbacks during the Texans’ Week 17 loss in Tennessee last season. The first resulted from a player being too woozy to play, the next from a player being asked to play.
The dust is settling on Brock Osweiler’s one-year Texans stint, and the team is kicking him on his way out. According to a Pro Football Talk report, that game against the Titans — not any of the previous weeks of horrific Osweiler play — was when Houston realised it needed to move on from its $95 million mistake.
In an otherwise meaningless game — the Texans already had wrapped up the AFC South — Tom Savage, who had shrugged into the role Osweiler relinquished, was knocked out of the game and had to undergo a concussion evaluation. At half-time, according to the report, Savage was told doctors were shutting him down. Savage reacted in anger, throwing things in the locker room and creating a scene.
As Savage fumed about not being able to play, coach Bill O’Brien told Osweiler he would be going in. In a game that meant nothing, Osweiler, whom the Texans had given a four-year deal after a taste of success with Denver, baulked at having to play.
According to a Pro Football Talk source, the 26-year-old told the coach he was only being asked to play because O’Brien needed him. The two argued, and the scene reportedly got vaguely physical — Osweiler tried to leave, and O’Brien threw out his arm to stop him. Osweiler would then claim he was being “held hostage”.
Osweiler did finish the game, finishing 21-of-40 for 253 yards and a touchdown, but was also finished in Houston. The Texans shipped him to Cleveland on Friday (AEDT) in a trade that amounted to the Texans giving draft picks to the Browns to rid Osweiler’s salary from their books.
Osweiler has not yet commented about the alleged incident.
Many have praised the Texans for getting rid of the 26-year-old, and now he faces even greater humiliation with reports suggesting he will soon be offloaded by the very team that picked him up without giving him a single game.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported the Browns are looking to palm him off, happy enough as it is with their second-round pick, which is what they were really after in the deal with Houston.
From what I understand, the #Browns are weighing simply releasing Brock Osweiler after trading for him. NBA style
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2017
The #Browns are planning on cutting Brock Osweiler, source said. Of course, if someone will trade for him…
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2017
Mike Florio of NBC Sports wrote: “The Browns clearly don’t plan to keep him. The options are to trade him or to cut him.” ESPN was also reporting Cleveland was likely to trade or release Osweiler before the 2017 season got underway.
While the Browns already have plans to shop Osweiler for draft picks, if they can’t find a trade partner, they’re prepared to cut him.
When that ultimately does happen, Osweiler will have his pick of the litter, just as he did last off-season. Only this time, his list of suitors won’t be nearly as long, and his payday won’t be nearly as large.
With that in mind, former quarterback turned TV analyst Kurt Warner offered Osweiler a bit of advice.
“You just have to step back and take a deep breath, and then find the best situation for you,” Warner said, via ESPN. “I think that’s one of the hardest things when it comes to free agency or when you get released. It’s so easy to go, ‘I’m going to go here because it looks the best.’”
Last off-season, Osweiler signed with the Texans without even meeting Bill O’Brien or general manager Rick Smith in person. That drew heavy criticism on the Texans’ part, but perhaps Osweiler jumped the gun, too.
“It really has to come down to settle in and have a good conversation with whatever organisation, and make sure it fits you,” Warner continued. “I think that what you find out in this biz, you see a lot of free agents go to different places and they disappear because it looked like a great fit, but once they got there, they found out it wasn’t the right fit for them.”
Osweiler isn’t guaranteed to start next season the way he was in 2016. He’s quickly gone from sought-after free agent to a player even the quarterback-needy Browns don’t feel the need to keep.
Perhaps his next team will have a better plan for him than the Texans did.