Quarterback Brock Osweiler seemed to be heading towards the scrap heap when he joined the Cleveland Browns this past offseason. Now, the starting job is apparently his to lose, according to ESPN.
Though the Browns haven’t been known for their ability to draft, they went out and drafted quarterback DeShone Kizer in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In 2016, they drafted USC quarterback Cody Kessler No. 93 overall, so for all intents and purposes, Osweiler seemed to simply be another body to compete in camp — and perhaps an experienced backup at most.
Actually, even that description is pushing it for Osweiler.
This is, of course, remembering that the Houston Texans conveniently dumped him after a 2016 season that saw him throw 15 touchdowns compared to 16 interceptions. Cleveland brought in Osweiler as well as two two draft picks via a trade with Houston, and it was reported at the time that even though he was part of the deal, he wasn’t expected to be with the Browns long. Basically, Cleveland didn’t want him to be the quarterback. He was mostly there as a salary dump for Houston.
The trade to Cleveland was a huge fall from grace for Osweiler, who was brought into Houston a season before on a four-year, $72 million contract. Houston thought he was “the guy”, but the Texas were quickly proven wrong.
All that makes it surprising if not downright shocking to hear that Osweiler is having a great camp in Cleveland heading into 2017. In fact, Pat McManamon of ESPN is reporting that the Browns’ starting job is basically his — if he doesn’t lose it:
“Coach Hue Jackson said the competition to start in Week 1 remains open, but he also said he’d judge who starts the preseason opener with the thought that the quarterback chosen could be the guy in the regular season.
With that in mind, the job is Brock Osweiler’s to lose. If he goes out against the Saints on Thursday and leads the offense sufficiently, he’ll be the opening-day starter.”
From scrap heap to potential starter, that’s a huge turnaround for Osweiler, who was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft and won a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos as a backup to Peyton Manning.
Of course, he’ll have to outplay Kizer, who the Browns took for a reason — they believe he’s the future. For the here and now, though, it seems likely that Osweiler will get one more shot to prove his worth in the NFL.