An absolutely shocking—but brilliant—trade, the Houston Texans off-load QB Brock Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns. In a move rarely if ever seen in the NFL, this trade saves the Texans $16 million in cash and $10 million in cap space, and the Browns are essentially buying an extra second-round pick from Houston. The Browns are reportedly not expected to keep Osweiler but because they came into the offseason with over $100 million in cap space, have the luxury to make such a move. In addition to acquiring Houston’s 2018 second-round pick, the Browns will get their 2017 sixth-round pick while giving away their 2017 fourth-round pick.
This move gives Houston a chance to acquire Tony Romo, and puts them squarely into Super Bowl contention for 2017. Osweiler graded as the third-worst QB in the NFL, with a season grade of 40.5 where he struggled mightily under pressure with a passer rating of 49.9, throwing just two touchdowns and seven interceptions. If the Texans are able to land Romo, they’ll get a significant upgrade at the most important position in all sports.
From the Browns' perspective, this is about as “Moneyball” as a football franchise can get. Sashi Brown covets draft assets, and found a way to buy one. If they are serious about keeping Osweiler, they’ve built an offensive line over the past 12 hours to protect their investment. Most reports are stating that they plan to cut or trade Osweiler, but Cleveland could be getting ready to just cut Robert Griffin III, as well. Still is much in the air about their plans, but the Browns' ability to acquire an extra draft pick falls directly in line with their approach.
This is a win for both teams, as the Texans have a roster in prime position to compete for the Super Bowl, and the Browns get assets to continue their “analytics” approach of building through the draft.