The Texans made an unprecedented move on Thursday, dealing away Brock Osweiler plus assets just to get out from underneath his contract.
Osweiler goes to the Browns with a second rounder in next year’s draft and a sixth rounder this year in exchange for a fourth rounder this year.
Essentially, the Texans are paying the Browns assets just to rid themselves of Osweiler, whose one season in Houston was a disaster. It also means for the fourth time in his four years as head coach, Bill O’Brien will be hitting the reset button at QB.
Reportedly the Browns might not even keep Osweiler. It has been a quick fall from last season, when the Texans made the biggest splash in free agency. This kind of deal simply does not happen in the NFL, but is common in the NBA and MLB. We’ll give you something to eat our mistake. The Browns had almost $100 million in cap room when free agency started and could afford to make a move like this.
So what does it mean for the Texans? They open up about $10 million in cap room, ostensibly to make a run at Tony Romo.
In the end, it might actually be a good move for both teams. The Browns get a solid asset for taking on a contract they could easily handle; the Texans rid themselves of the ostrich.
From the Texans perspective, it made sense to let the players walk. Reportedly they offered as much as $12 mil per year to Bouye, then dropped out of the running. But they have money and draft picks invested in the position, and the return of Kevin Johnson made it possible to let Bouye go.
Demps might be the more significant loss. He has solidified the safety crew since his return to Houston and is coming off what should have been a Pro Bowl season. He was a good locker room guy and a solid player. But he is also on the wrong side of 30, and the Texans were not willing to match the $4.5 million average Demps received.
This might facilitate the long discussed Kareem Jackson to safety move, which would mitigate the loss of Demps somewhat. But they now have to find depth at both safety and corner, which makes it a draft priority now, along with offensive line.
The Texans could afford to lose one of them, but two makes the secondary somewhat thin. If everyone is healthy, they will be fine. But no team stays healthy all year, and regardless of what happens with Jackson, the Texans will need another safety or nickel corner. The safety might be on the roster but that remains to be seen.
Regardless, the big news was that the Texans have once again punted on their quarterback. It will be interesting to see what happens next.