Sean M. Haffey/GettyFree agent quarterback Brock Osweiler made the surprising decision Wednesday to sign with the Houston Texans instead of the Denver Broncos, where he had served as backup for the past four seasons.
The news shocked the NFL world; reports out of Denver earlier in the day had said that Osweiler was likely re-sign with the Broncos.
But as more details about Osweiler’s decision emerge, the more it sounds like Osweiler had no interest in re-signing in Denver. It also sounds like the Broncos knew Osweiler wasn’t coming back.
According to Mike Klis of News 9 in Denver, the Broncos started to get a strong sense that Osweiler might sign elsewhere as far back as two weeks ago, when he cut off all communication from the team. Klis reports that Osweiler stopped returning phone calls from coaches and teammates entirely. Generally, this is a good sign a player’s moving on. Still, John Elway and the Broncos offered him a four-year, $64 million contract ($16 million per year).
Osweiler instead took the Texans’ four-year, $72 million deal. But money wasn’t the only factor at play. He also reportedly felt slighted by the fact that the Broncos had benched him during Week 17, opting to give the offense back to Manning and stick with Manning for the duration of the playoffs. After Manning won a Super Bowl, Osweiler reportedly felt that it would be hard to step out from Manning’s shadow. All of this led him to Houston.
It’s a solid pick-up for the Texans, who greatly improve at the quarterback position. The Broncos, meanwhile, are stuck scrambling for a new quarterback. Reports say they are interested in both Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick.