BEREA, Ohio -- Believed to be a throw-in on a trade that helped the Cleveland Browns acquire a second-round pick from the Houston Texans on the first day of the new league year back in March, veteran quarterback Brock Osweiler was not expected to remain on the roster for long.
However, Osweiler made it through the offseason program and will have a chance to compete for the Browns’ starting job in training camp, which gets underway today at the team’s Berea headquarters.
“He is here competing,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said. “Brock did a good job in OTAs and our offseason program. He is going to walk out there and compete just like the other guys.”
In five NFL seasons, four with the Denver Broncos and one with the Texans, Osweiler completed 488 of his 815 attempts (59.9 percent) for 5,083 yards and 26 touchdowns against 22 interceptions over 36 career games.
Osweiler has a career passer rating of 77.4.
“I think he probably reaffirmed what we thought,” said Sashi Brown, the executive vice president of football operations. “We knew he was a guy who was going to come in and bring some experience to that room. He is not the most experienced -- he is still young -- but he certainly has more experience than DeShone (Kizer), Kevin (Hogan) and Cody (Kessler) in that room, and that is valuable to us.
“Also, Brock is a competitive guy. He has done a nice job since he got here, and he has really dug into the playbook and really endeared himself to his teammates. Again, all four of the guys have an opportunity, and we look forward to seeing them out there.”
In March of 2016, Osweiler signed a four-year, $72 million contract but struggled in his first, and only season with the Texans. Osweiler’s contract with the Texans had language in it that fully guaranteed two years and $37 million, which puts the Browns on the hook for $16 million in 2017.
Osweiler earned the four-year contract after stepping in for future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning for part of the 2015 season, one that ended with the Broncos beating the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
Osweiler completed 170 of his 275 attempts (61.8 percent) for 1,967 yards and 10 touchdowns against six interceptions, but when given the chance to start without a challenge in Houston, he struggled mightily.
Although the Texans won the AFC South Division in 2016 and beat the Oakland Raiders in the Wildcard Round, the 6-foot-8, 235-pound Osweiler completed only 301 of his 510 attempts for 2,957 yards and 15 touchdowns against 16 interceptions in 15 games.
“Brock is on our team,” Brown said. “We want to evaluate guys based on their performance. No team in the salary cap era can just be blind to contracts, so I am not saying it facetiously, but in all seriousness, when we acquired Brock, we understood he was going to have a chance to come in and establish himself as the starter. That does not mean he had to be the starter for him to be on our roster. It is that simple.”