Stunner: Browns Acquire Osweiler

In a move that stunned the NFL the Cleveland Browns have acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler from the Houston Texans via trade on Thursday.

In the deal, the Browns sent a 2017 fourth-round pick to the Texans who in return for Osweiler, a 2017 sixth-round pick and a 2018 second-round pick.While the move surprised many it is actually one of the rare deals that works out great for both parties involved.

The Texans get out from under the $16 million in cash owed to Osweiler and the $10 million cap hit he would have had after they signed him to a four-year $72 million contract in 2016. The money can now give the team the flexibility to sign Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo whom the team feels can lead them deeper into the playoffs than their defense has over the past two seasons.

The Browns give up a late fourth-round pick, most likely a compensatory pick, and now have added a third second-round pick in the 2018 draft and have already fielded calls for Osweiler who they are not looking to keep. If they fail to trade Osweiler, the team will likely release him. His $16 million would count as dead money on the cap in 2017, but if the team also releases quarterback Robert Griffin they would save nearly $7 million and in turn only be forced to take the hit for $9 million of Osweilers contract after subtracting RGIII.

While most think that it would be impossible to find a taker for Osweiler,the Browns are willing to pay half of his 2017 salary. At $8 million for 2017 it’s not a terrible option, especially after seeing Mike Glennon get $15 million per season from the Chicago Bears. Osweiler is guaranteed $16 million this season but nothing in 2018 or 19, so any team trading for him could pay $8 million for one season and then move on if they do not want to pay the $18 million he is due in 2018 or $13 million base and $4 million roster bonus in 2019.

The original trade was shocking, but after seeing the details it looks like a very smart trade for the Browns front office, essentially buying a 2018 second-round pick for possibly $9 million and whatever else they can get from the deal. It is an NBA like trade for an MLB like front office in the NFL.

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