The Houston Texans believed enough in Brock Osweiler to hand him franchise-quarterback money in March 2016, signing the former Denver Broncos’ backup to a four-year, $72 million contract.
It was a leap of faith for a quarterback who had seven career starts–all in 2015–in four seasons, particularly given he was benched in Week 17 and watched Peyton Manning lead Denver to a Super Bowl title.
Osweiler had problems with turnovers in his first season as an undisputed starter, throwing three picks in a Week 12 loss to the San Diego Chargers and mustering just three starts without throwing an interception.
It came to a head in Week 15, when he was yanked in favor of Tom Savage after throwing two early interceptions in what would be a 21-20 win over Jacksonville.
But Savage sustained a concussion in the season finale at Tennessee and Osweiler returned in the 24-17 loss. Houston had already clinched the AFC South title for the second consecutive season with a Christmas Eve victory over Cincinnati and Osweiler was named the starter for the Wild Card Playoff against Oakland.
He was solid, but unspectacular, throwing for 168 yards and a touchdown and scoring on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter to ice the Texans 27-14 victory. But Osweiler threw three picks in a 34-16 loss at New England in the Divisional Playoff.
He ended the season with 2,957 passing yards — fourth in Texans’ franchise history — while completing 59 percent of his throws with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He did give Houston a bit of a threat with his legs, rushing for 131 yards and two scores on the season.
Exactly a year after signing him, though, the Texans shipped Osweiler along with a 2017 sixth-round pick and a 2018 second-rounder to the Browns … in exchange for a 2017 fourth-round pick. Not exactly a huge return on a $72 million investment.
Osweiler was taken in the second round, 57th overall, by Denver out of Arizona State in the 2012 NFL Draft. After he was cut by Cleveland at the end of the preseason in 2017, he returned to the Broncos and made four starts last season.
Osweiler signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins on March 26.