5:37pm: Broncos general manager John Elway doesn’t sound too broken up about Osweiler’s exit.
“We’ve stayed true to our philosophy of building a team with players who want to be Denver Broncos and want to be here. That’s been a successful approach for us,” he said (link via Andrew Mason of the Broncos’ website).
On Elway’s attempt to keep Osweiler, the GM said, “While we did offer a very competitive and fair long-term contract to Brock, we ultimately had to remain disciplined while continuing to assemble a roster that can compete for championships.”
Elway went on to acknowledge that the Broncos are exploring other options.
“We’ve now turned our attention to other options at quarterback and are confident that we’ll find the right player and person for our team. Our organization thanks Brock for his contributions and wishes him all the best.”
5:15pm: Prior to Brock Osweiler‘s decision to accept a four-year, $72MM offer from the Texans, the Broncos offered the quarterback a contract for the same length and less money (upward of $64MM), reports Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). That came after the Broncos submitted a three-year, $45MM offer to Osweiler. Denver’s $64MM-plus pitch included $30MM in guarantees – less than the $37MM Osweiler will receive from the Texans (Twitter link via Klis).
Osweiler’s choice to leave Denver after four years as Peyton Manning’s backup came as no surprise to members of the organization, per Klis, who tweets that he stopped returning phone calls to some teammates and coaches over the last two weeks. Osweiler, 25, will now start anew without having to live in the shadow of Manning, which was a factor in his decision, according to Klis.
With Manning having retired and Osweiler gone, the Broncos are essentially bereft under center – an odd position to be in for a reigning Super Bowl winner. Their incumbent starter is 2015 seventh-rounder Trevor Siemian, who has never thrown an NFL pass, but his spot atop the depth chart isn’t exactly set in stone.
The recently released Robert Griffin III is on the Broncos’ list of replacement quarterbacks, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported when news of Osweiler’s departure broke (Twitter link). RG3 could visit Denver this week, per Schefter.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.