With free agency less than a week away, the Houston Texans need to make a big play for upcoming free agent quarterback Brock Osweiler
It’s not a well kept secret that the Houston Texans are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. Honestly, they really have been since their inception as the most stable player they’ve had at the position to date has been Matt Schaub.
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Even so, something about this offseason feels more desperate as the team prepares to find their guy. Maybe it’s knowing how close they are, even without someone under center they fully trust.
In the past two seasons the team has been forced to use four or more quarterbacks in each season. This season they started Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, T.J. Yates and Brandon Weeden. This came one season removed from seeing Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mallett, Tom Savage and Case Keenum take the reins at one point or another the previous year.
Despite all that uncertainty, the Texans have now gone 9-7 two seasons in a row under head coach Bill O’Brien. All they need to really take that next step is a guy the coach can cut loose, and that guy should be upcoming free agent, Brock Osweiler.
The Denver Broncos turned to their former second round pick out of Arizona State this season when their franchise quarterback Peyton Manning was fighting through injuries. All Osweiler did was outperform Manning and prove the game isn’t too big for him as he led a comeback victory on Sunday Night Football against the New England Patriots.
By season’s end, Osweiler had thrown for 1,967 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. The 6-foot-7 quarterback completed nearly 62 percent of his passes en route to a 5-2 record, which included two fourth quarter game winning drives.
After all that, he was benched in favor of Manning, and the team won the Super Bowl. The success could cost them though, as they now have been forced to use the franchise tag on linebacker Von Miller, meaning the quarterback who played best for the champs in 2015 is set to hit the free agent market.
This is where the Texans come in. It’s been well established by the Broncos management that they don’t want to break the bank for Osweiler. General manager John Elway recently stated the team wants to find a mid-level salary for their 25-year old gun slinger.
"“When you look at where the salaries are on quarterbacks, either above $15 million or below $5 [million]. There’s no middle class of quarterbacks. So that’s where you hope you could get a fair deal with Brock’s people and his representatives. And I think we’ll be able to do that, you never know, but that’s the toughest thing, Mike. Putting that value on that and obviously sometimes what we think the value is and what their value is, is different, but we’ll see if we could come together on that.”"
Knowing what Denver wants to do is a great advantage. Houston has an estimated $32 million according to OverTheCap.com, and it’s time general manager Rick Smith makes a huge move in free agency.
The Texans need to open the checkbook for Osweiler and do whatever they can to bring him in. While it may sound crazy to offer him a deal upwards of $15 million annually, that’s exactly what they need to do.
The going rate for quarterbacks is through the roof, but Houston can’t waste the prime of players like defensive end J.J. Watt on grooming a young rookie. And honestly, sitting at 22nd overall, any quarterback hey get in the draft will need several years of that grooming.
Instead, go for the guy who has been in the league for four seasons and learned behind one of the best. Open the checkbook and bring in a guy who can get the ball downfield to the big playmakers like receiver DeAndre Hopkins. If they wait much longer, it could be too late.