Revisiting the Texans decision to sign Brock Osweiler in 2016

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Brock Osweiler
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 14: Brock Osweiler /

Hindsight is a beautiful thing. If many people had their way Brock Osweiler would never have put on a Houston Texans uniform. Osweiler’s Texans tenure was not great by any means but the decision to sign Osweiler has given Houston their franchise quarterback. However it is somebody else.

Houston signed Osweiler to a four-year $72 million deal in 2016. At the time it appeared that the Texans have solved the riddle that is finding a franchise quarterback. The results from the regular season are better than some people remember. That being said his time was far from perfect.

Compiling an 8-6 record while completing 59 percent of his passes, Osweiler did just enough to win games. Completing a higher percentage of passes would have been nice, but that is not who Osweiler is. The next group of numbers is where a different picture comes to the forefront. Osweiler had a 15-16 touchdown to interception ratio. This is not great, in fact it is incredibly average. Averaging 197.1 yards per game through the air, also average. Five fumbles, another statistic that is not great. While all these numbers point to average, that is not what the Texans were expecting when the contract was signed.

Before the 2017 NFL Draft, Osweiler, a 2017 sixth round draft pick and a 2018 second round draft pick went to the Browns. This deal provided cap relief for the Texans and set them up to make a move in the draft.

The Browns and Texans came to terms in a trade that allowed the Texans to select Deshaun Watson. Houston sent their 2018 first round pick to Cleveland in the deal. With the selection of Watson they hoped to get the production they expected from Osweiler. Houston got much more.

Watson is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Cleveland cut Osweiler and he returned to Denver. Funny how things go full circle here. Osweiler is back in the only place that he appears to be somewhat successful. The Texans have their man (Watson) and have moved on from the atrocious contract of Osweiler.

There is a bad side to this as well. The decision to sign Osweiler has now left the Texans without their top two draft picks in 2018. These picks could be used to help build the team around Watson. With this being the case in Houston, the Texans must return to the uncertain path of signing free agents in building their team. As the Texans have experienced in the Osweiler deal, it is far from safe. It is essentially a lottery and that time the Texans lost. /

While many will maintain that Osweiler should have never took a snap in a Texans uniform, his signing resulted in Houston finding the best quarterback to ever play in Houston. Watson should recover and be back to his former self soon. The overall cost of acquiring Watson was two first round draft picks and a second rounder. This is considering the picks that belong to Cleveland and the pick used to actually select Watson. Most teams would give that up if not more to select a franchise quarterback.

Did the decision to sign Osweiler directly lead to drafting Watson? Not exactly. However it is one moment in a chain of events that have resulted in Houston having one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL. Everything happens for a reason. If Osweiler flaming out in Houston leads to selecting Watson, this is a path a majority of teams would take. Securing a franchise quarterback is extremely difficult in the NFL. If enduring one sub-par season from a player with a bad contract leads to a franchise quarterback, so be it. At the end of the day the right quarterback is starting in Houston and Osweiler is back in Denver.