However, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter) the deal is not yet done. But he adds the Broncos hope to sign him, noting there are still details to sort through.
Osweiler would stand to slide into the backup spot behind Trevor Siemian for the time being. Paxton Lynch is expected to miss multiple regular-season games with a shoulder injury. Cabot reports the Browns are still going to be stuck with most of Osweiler’s guaranteed $16MM due this season.
Denver’s Osweiler decision signals Lynch could be out for a while, Troy Renck of Denver7 notes (on Twitter).
This will provide a reunion between Osweiler and the Broncos, obviously, but also with rehired OC Mike McCoy. While Osweiler saw his only relevant Denver game action in Gary Kubiak‘s offense, he worked with McCoy as a rookie in 2012 and developed in a similar system with Adam Gase from 2013-14.
The 26-year-old quarterback’s career has spiraled to a different place compared to March 2016, when he agreed to leave Denver for a four-year, $72MM Texans contract. John Elway, though, made a competitive offer to Osweiler during free agency. But the Texans proposed a better deal, enticing the quarterback to bolt for Houston. Denver would be getting Osweiler back for much cheaper than it was offering in the winter of 2016.
The Texans made a historic trade of Osweiler to Cleveland, having to give up a second-round pick to coax the Browns into taking on his contract.
Osweiler caught the Texans’ eye with a sporadically productive 2015 season, when he came on in relief of Peyton Manning to help the Broncos to the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The former second-round pick completed 62 percent of his passes and led Denver to key wins over the Patriots and Bengals to secure home-field advantage. However, Kubiak’s benching of the 6-foot-7 signal-caller midway through the 2015 regular-season finale was believed to be one of the causes of Osweiler’s exit.
Denver moved on and drafted Lynch in the 2016 first round but will again start Siemian, who was the third-string quarterback behind Manning and Osweiler as a rookie. Bill O’Brien benched Osweiler late last season, and the Browns tried to move his contract for another draft pick throughout the offseason but found no takers. DeShone Kizer won Cleveland’s starting job, and Cody Kessler will be his backup.
It remains to be seen if the Broncos would consider keeping their one-time starter once Lynch recovers, but in waiving preseason success story Kyle Sloter today, the team may merely be eyeing a temporary Osweiler arrangement until its preferred two-quarterback setup can be utilized.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.