The Denver Broncos had every intention of re-signing Brock Osweiler during free agency, but the quarterback simply ignored their calls, instead signing with the Houston Texans.
According to Benjamin Albright of 104.7 in Denver, the Broncos were willing to match the offer the Texas gave Osweiler, but the former Arizona State quarterback simply wasn’t interested. He signed a four-year deal worth $72 million to go to Houston. The Broncos, reportedly, were willing to give him around $18 million, maybe more, each season, with at least $35 million in guaranteed money. He received $37 million in guaranteed money from the Texans, with the first two seasons fully guaranteed.
Osweiler made his decision before the offseason. The moment he was benched by the team during the week 17 game against the San Diego Chargers, replaced by Peyton Manning, he had his mind made up that he wasn’t going back to Denver. He knew the Texans were interested for quite some time, and the insult in getting benched for what he believed wasn’t his fault (he got pulled from the game after a C.J. Anderson fumble) wouldn’t go away.
The Broncos were stunned by the turn of events. They believed Osweiler wanted to come back and lead the team in Denver after doing it pretty well in half of the regular season, now without the shadow of Peyton Manning looming over him. Osweiler was also John Elway’s son’s roommate in college, and even lived with the Elway family for a while after getting drafted. But it wasn’t the usual low-balling tactics of the Broncos that drove him away: It was simply the fact that he felt disrespected, and liked playing in a place where he’s wanted. He did not attend the visit to the White House with the other Denver Broncos players who won a Super Bowl in 2015.
The Texans haven’t had a quarterback they feel comfortable with long term since Matt Schaub imploded before our eyes in 2013. The Broncos are probably going to start Mark Sanchez next season, with rookie Paxton Lynch waiting for the opportunity on the sidelines. Manning, who didn’t do too much in the playoffs, but still went out with a second Super Bowl ring, retired after some short deliberation. He was going to be released if he wasn’t going to retire, or take a serious pay cut.