It was announced last week that quarterback Brock Osweiler had turned his back on the Denver Broncos to sign a four year, $72 million deal with the Houston Texans. But what exactly are the Texans getting for this money?
But what exactly are the Texans getting for this money?
Osweiler's deal works out at around $18 million per season, enough to see him the 15th highest paid QB in the league this upcoming season, on a similar yearly salary to the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo and about $500,000 more per season than that which was recently given to Sam Bradford by the Philadelphia Eagles. Not bad for a player with just seven pro starts to his name.
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The move represents a huge risk for a Texans team which showed last year that they hold many of the key pieces required to make a serious playoff run, if not for substandard quarterback play.
It's still not entirely clear just how good the ex-Bronco can actually be as a starter in this league, and the money offered is a clear indication that Houston is banking on Osweiler being able to translate the flashes he showed in his few starts into consistent high levels of performance. If he's able to do that, then the salary rate offered might even start to look like something of a bargain.
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The inexperienced signal caller comes into the team as the instant face of the offence, and if nothing else gives the Texans their first real possibility of reliable quarterback play in a few years.
With a supporting cast that includes superstar JJ Watt on the defence, and some offensive weapons in high-end wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and the recent free agent signing of running back Lamar Miller.
The Texans look set to be going forward with a balanced attack, and a continuation of the run-first mentality the team adopted for years under the lead of the recently released Arian Foster will open up the possibilities to stretch the field through the passing game.
Whilst the contract that Houston has given to Brock Osweiler has to be viewed at this time as very much a high risk move, the potential for a high reward payoff is obvious to see. He's not likely to ever be considered one of the elite level quarterbacks in the NFL, but the Texans don't need him to be.
If recent history is anything to go by, a team capable of winning the super bowl requires a high level defence, and smart game management from their quarterback. We've just witnessed that with the Bronco's under Payton Manning, and the Houston Texans look to be set up in a similar fashion.
If he can provide solid starting level production then this gives the Texans a platform on which to continue to build towards a serious championship push, not only in this upcoming season; but for many years to come.