Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler won his first NFL start today, beating the Bears 17-15 on the day he turned 25 years old. But his future with Denver was once very uncertain, as Michael Silver of NFL.com reports (Twitter link) that the Broncos attempted to trade Osweiler during the 2014 season, and would have accepted as little as a sixth-round pick.
The news shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise, as Peyton Manning was in the midst of another solid season in 2014, and given the demand for quarterbacks around the league, it would have made sense for general manager John Elway to see what he could get in return for Osweiler. However, the fact that Elway would have apparently accepted so little in terms of draft pick compensation seems to show that Denver’s front office didn’t value Osweiler very highly.
Circumstances have changed in the year-plus since those talks reportedly occurred, however, as Manning has dealt with injuries and effectively been benched. It’s conceivable that Osweiler will be the Bronco’s QB for the remainder of the season, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported this morning that that the Denver front office is split on their evaluation of Osweiler, which is why he hasn’t been extended as of yet.
Osweiler played well today, completing 74% of his passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns, and the hope is that his mobility will allow head coach Gary Kubiak to more effectively run his offense. But whether Kubiak is wholly sold on Osweiler also remains an open question, as we know that Kubiak wanted to bring in Tyrod Taylor as the backup QB for 2015, and Denver reportedly offered more money than did Buffalo.