Down 13-0 to the Jaguars in the second quarter, the Texans have benched quarterback Brock Osweiler in favor of Tom Savage. Osweiler, signed to a four-year, $72MM contract in the offseason, had completed just six of 11 passes for 48 yards and two interceptions during today’s contest.
Whether or not the switch is permanent is unclear, and could depend on how Savage performs for the rest of the game against Jacksonville. Head coach Bill O’Brien will surely address the issue following the game, and speak as to whether Savage will lead the Texans for the remainder of the season. Despite Osweiler’s poor play, Houston has still posted a 7-6 record has a 45% chance of making the postseason (per Football Outsiders), so the choice of starting quarterback still has major implications for the 2016 campaign.
Osweiler, 26, has been on the worst QBs in the NFL this season, as he’s completed less than 60% of his passes while averaging 5.8 yards per attempt and tossing 14 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. Given that he received $37MM in guarantees under the terms of his deal with the Texans, Osweiler will be extremely difficult to release before 2018. Theoretically, Houston could make him a post-June 1 cut next offseason, but the club would take on $19MM in dead money and wouldn’t realize any cap savings.
Savage, meanwhile, was a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft, so he’s spent his entire career in Houston under the O’Brien regime. He played in two games during his rookie campaign, completing 10 of 19 attempts, but hasn’t seen any action since.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.