On the heels of announcing that rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer will start Cleveland’s third preseason game, the Browns are once again attempting to trade veteran Brock Osweiler, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Executive vice president Sashi Brown and chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta dealt for Osweiler from the Houston Texans in an effort to acquire as many assets as possible this past offseason. The Browns received, in addition to the 26-year-old Osweiler, the Texans’ 2018 second-round pick and a 2017 sixth-round pick. On the other end of the deal, Houston received a 2017 fourth-round pick and, perhaps more important, saved $10 million in salary cap space for the season.
After acquiring Osweiler, Brown emphasized the importance of acquiring as many draft picks as possible as part of the team’s “Moneyball”-esque approach.
“We’re really excited to acquire a second-round draft choice in this trade,” Brown said. “Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship-caliber football team. We are intent on adding competition to every position on our roster and look forward to having Brock come in and compete.”
Immediately after the deal went through, it was reported that Osweiler was not part of the Browns’ long- or short-term plans and were expected to trade or release the quarterback before the start of the 2017 season.
No deal was reached and Osweiler was given the opportunity to compete for the starting job with the rookie Kizer and second-year quarterback Cody Kessler. The former Bronco and Texan, who struggled mightily in his only year in Houston after signing a $72 million mega- deal, showed enough in training camp to earn the starting nod in the first two preseason games with Cleveland, but played poorly in both outings. Kizer will now start game three with Osweiler not even expected to play against the Buccaneers on Saturday.
The Browns are still on the hook for Osweiler’s $16 million guaranteed salary for this season regardless of whether he makes the final 53-man roster, making any potential trade involving the quarterback difficult.