The Browns are toying with the idea of releasing him or trying to trade him, but at $16 million guaranteed for 2017 and an eternally expanding black hole where most team’s quarterback depth charts should be, there’s little risk in keeping Osweiler.
Cleveland appears destined to add a young, developmental passer this offseason, whether that’s a plug-and-play guy like Jimmy Garoppolo or a player they’d find in the draft is still up in the air. Keeping Osweiler would give them an insurance policy — albeit an expensive one — should the team cycle through injured quarterbacks like a broken Rolodex this fall.
If Osweiler gets released, he’ll still have his suitors, though no one will come close to matching the four-year, $72 million deal he got from the Texans. He could assume a backup role with several different teams or push to regain his starting status with a QB-needy team like the Jets, Jaguars, or 49ers.
Osweiler proved he isn’t the answer as a franchise quarterback, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a place in the league.
The reputation strengthened through the decades as Southern Miss’ victims list grew. Archie Manning and No. 4 Ole Miss in 1970. No. 6 Florida State in 1989. No. 13 Alabama in 1990. Mississippi State many, many times. Et cetera.
Southern Miss at its best is a terrifying mix of speed and salt and chips on shoulders. It is a team that won’t win all its games — even in 1954, the team that beat Bama lost to North Texas, Dayton, and Southeastern Louisiana — but can win against any opponent.
As such a foe, the Golden Eagles are graded on curves. We judge them against Conference USA peers, obviously. And they are given an S&P+ rating just like everybody else. But we also grade them on the SASM scale: Salty-Ass Southern Miss.