Do you wonder why the Browns feel they had to go out of their way to make sure everyone knew they didn't want to keep Brock Osweiler?
The Browns are very tight-lipped about everything that goes on their building--and it's understandable.
Case in point, they kept their feelings about Robert Griffin III to themselves for over two months before releasing him last Friday.
Never did the Browns say they didn't want him--but always talked optimistic and hopeful about him, even when any one who watched the team on a daily basis or the casual fan could've told you they needed to move on. They didn't want to de-value him, until they had another option.
The day after the season ended, numerous reporters including myself spent the majority of the time trying to get answers concerning the quarterback situation. The general answers given by Hue Jackson, Sashi Brown and the front office were they needed more time to evaluate Griffin and on and on.
There was really no updates or opportunities to talk with Jackson or Brown until the NFL Combine just a week ago. The answers there were vague, as well. No vote of confidence or anything definitive other than Jackson saying.
"Obviously Robert's on our roster right now," Jackson said. "I think there are some things that he did well, some things he needs to continue to improve at and we're going to keep working with him until we don't."
They stopped working with him last Friday, the day before his $750,000 roster bonus was due. They had to know at the combine they were going to release Griffin and they did so the day after they acquired Osweiler.
They did so to keep other teams guessing on their plans for the draft and free agency.
However, curious in the trade to acquire the second-round pick to take Osweiler's exorbitant contract off the Texans hands is how flippant and obvious the Browns have been in de-valuing Osweiler.
After the trade was made official that brought Osweiler to the Browns along with a 2018 second-round pick and a 2017 sixth-round pick (188th overall) for the Browns 2017 fourth-round compensatory pick (142nd overall), the Browns put out this statement.
“We’re really excited to acquire a second-round draft choice in this trade,” Brown said. “Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship caliber football team. We are intent on adding competition to every position on our roster and look forward to having Brock come in and compete.”
Immediately after the trade went down Thursday, several national NFL Network and ESPN analysts said they didn't expect Osweiler to remain with the Browns and that they would either trade him or release him. Cleveland.com has also reported that the Browns are trying to trade Osweiler and if they don't, they'll release him. These reports were not refuted and obviously, came from somewhere in the Browns organization.
My question is this?
Why did the Browns feel they had to go out of their way to say they don't want Osweiler?
You might say the obvious is Osweiler devalued himself with his play last season.
Are they afraid NFL people or fans might think the Browns might've thought he could be the team's answer at quarterback and don't want to be thought of being gullible for bringing in another reclamation project at a high price?
I get it that they don't think he's the answer and they were after the second-round draft pick, but why do they have to tell the world they don't want the guy? In other words, what do they have to gain by it?
It seems like Osweiler's got more upside than Griffin right now and releasing Griffin the day after the trade would've made sense. If they were to talk positively about Osweiler a little or at least not have shown their hand, they might be able to get something for him.
On Friday, the Browns had individual conference calls with Kevin Zeitler, J.C. Tretter and Kenny Britt to introduce them to the media. Those three were signed as unrestricted free agents, but Osweiler was acquired in a trade. There was no conference call for Osweiler.
To me, it's like having a car or any type of asset and saying how bad it is and all the problems with it and then trying to sell it to the people you've just told how lousy it is.
Why wouldn't the other 31 NFL teams just wait until the Browns release Osweiler, if they even had a slight interest in him to give him a look?
Don't get me wrong, I don't think Osweiler is much of an option for the Browns at quarterback, but just a year ago he was sought after. Last year, he was signed to a four-year, $72 million contract, including $31 million guaranteed by the Texans. His contract for 2017 is $16 million and $18 million in 2018.
Osweiler was involved in a bidding war between the Super Bowl champion Broncos and Texans and chose Houston last year during free agency. When you see a career backup quarterback like Mike Glennon getting $15 million a year to be the Bears quarterback, Osweiler's numbers don't even look that crazy.
Filling in for Peyton Manning in the Broncos Super Bowl run, Oswelier completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,967 yards with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. Last year with the Texans, Osweiler completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,957 yards with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Again, it might work out great for the Browns to pay $16 million to get that extra second-round draft choice, but why are they making it so obvious that they want to get rid of the quarterback they just traded for.