CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns sent shockwaves through the NFL 10-minutes before the new league year kicked in by agreeing to acquire quarterback Brock Osweiler from the Houston Texans.
The trade frees up $10 million in cap space and saves Houston $16 million in salary so they can pursue Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo if they choose while giving the Browns a third second-round pick in the 2018 draft.
“We’re really excited to acquire a second round draft choice in this trade,” executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said. “Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship caliber football team. We are intent on adding competition to every position on our roster and look forward to having Brock come in and compete.”
Despite Brown’s assertion that Osweiler will compete, his stay in Cleveland could be brief. His name was merely a footnote in Brown’s statement. The reason that the Browns made the trade with the Texans was because they wanted the second-round pick in 2018. They will likely cut or trade Osweiler.
Cleveland and Houston also swap mid-round picks with the Texans receiving the Browns’ fourth-round selection and Cleveland getting Houston’s sixth rounder this year.
“We are committed to bringing a championship to the city of Houston,” Texans vice president of football operations Rick Smith said. “We are exhaustive in our efforts and the resources provided by the McNair family allow us to operate that way. We continuously evaluate our decisions and processes to ensure the results match our goals and objectives. The decision to trade Brock was made because it was in the best interest of the team.
“It frees up both cash and salary-cap room to continue to improve our football team. We appreciate Brock’s effort and leadership while he was with us and we wish him and his family well.”
Because the Browns entered the day rich in available cap space – over $100 million, Cleveland essentially bought an additional second-round pick and positioned themselves even stronger to acquire New England’s Jimmy Garoppolo through a separate trade if they decide to go that route.
The Browns have amassed a combined total of 8 first- and second-round draft picks through a series of trades for the 2017 and 2018 NFL Drafts.