For all intents and purposes, Brock Osweiler has had himself a very good preseason in Cleveland. In fact, there have been whispers about him entering the 2017 season as the starter for the Browns, which would be a huge turnaround for the quarterback who was basically cast out of Houston.
Osweiler does have experience, and that’s the one thing he has over recent draft pick DeShone Kizer and 2016 draft pick Cody Kessler. Combine that with his good play this preseason and it seemed like Osweiler may have been winning himself a new starting gig.
The fact that he’s started Cleveland’s first two preseason games lends credence to that thought, but a recent report from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk sheds some light on the Browns’ true intentions with Osweiler. Add that with Cleveland.com‘s report that Kizer is well-positioned “to earn the starting job,” and it’s not the best of looks for Osweiler.
Per Florio, the Browns have been simply trying to turn him into trade bait by showcasing him as the starter:
“Use him they did. And they liked him, at least enough to hope someone else would love him. So they propped him up by making him the starter for both preseason games, hopeful that someone would still call with an offer to take Brock off their hands.
Someone still could call; all it takes is one quarterback injury to trigger crazy outcomes like Jay Cutler unretiring. So now that the preseason hay is in the barn, the Browns are opting to keep Osweiler healthy by keeping him out of game action, in the hopes of another Bridgewater-style fluke incident that results in a starter being out for the year.”
If Osweiler is good enough to get anything worthwhile back in a trade, doesn’t it make sense that he’s good enough to start at quarterback over a rookie and another young quarterback who only has eight starts under his belt?
That seemed to be the way the Browns were approaching Osweiler — as a pleasant surprise who was thrown their way by Houston in an attempt to clear up some cap space — and it seemed that Osweiler was on his way to a career revival. And sure, being the Browns’ quarterback as of late has been anything but glamorous, but it’s still better than the scrap heap, which was where Osweiler was heading.
Now it seems like he’s heading towards the trading block, though that’s assuming another NFL team will come calling for him. That’s possible, but as Florio points out, it’s likely only possible if a quarterback gets injured sometime between now and the trade deadline.
Perhaps Osweiler will still win the starting job in Cleveland, but right it looks like he’s heading down the path towards unwanted, again.