With DeShone Kizer winning the Browns quarterback competition and no need to have three quarterbacks on their roster, Brock Osweiler could be the odd man out in Cleveland.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Browns are shopping Osweiler, but they can’t find a suitor to take on his massive contract. Osweiler, who has averaged a horrific 3.0 yards per attempt this preseason, signed a four-year, $72 million pact with the Texans in 2016 before being traded to Cleveland in a salary dump.
But even if the Browns can’t find a trade partner, they have no real reason to keep him on the roster. As I mentioned during the spring, Cleveland didn’t acquire Osweiler to make him their starting quarterback, they did so to get the Texans second round pick. Cleveland had more than enough cap space to eat Osweiler’s bloated deal and this preseason was all about seeing if he could perform well enough to remain on the roster, which he showed he wasn’t capable of doing.
The Browns are in the middle of a rebuild and there isn’t pressure to make the playoffs. With a potentially elite quarterback class available in next year’s draft, Cleveland is doing their due diligence by naming Kizer the starter to see if he can be the quarterback of the future for the Browns or if it’s worthwhile to use their top pick on one of the top signal callers.
And yes, Kizer was taken in the second round of this draft, but it isn’t like it would be unprecedented for the Browns to draft a quarterback is Kizer falters. Carolina took Jimmy Clausen in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft only to select Cam Newton first overall one year later. Quarterback is simply too important of a position to turn down a blue chip prospect if one becomes available.
Plus, if he does perform well, this takes one position off of the team’s need list for 2018, allowing them to focus on other positions of need. Cleveland has quietly put together the framework for a quality NFL roster, now it’s time to see if the most important piece can fit in the puzzle or if they will need to address it next spring.