Quarterback Brock Osweiler is back with the team that drafted him out of Arizona State in the Denver Broncos. It’s good for him, but great for the Raiders.
While the Oakland Raiders know exactly who will be quarterbacking the Silver and Black for the next decade, the Denver Broncos have more questions than answers with their quarterbacking situation. Derek Carr provides stability to the position in Oakland that the Raiders have not had since Rich Gannon was an NFL MVP. The Broncos made the move this week to reach into their past to sign former starting quarterback Brock Osweiler off waivers.
Osweiler was originally drafted by John Elway in Denver in the 2012 NFL Draft. He spent his first four NFL seasons as Peyton Manning‘s backup in Denver. Osweiler started a handful of games during the Broncos’ Super Bowl run in 2015.
When Elway was ready to hand Osweiler the keys to the offense after Manning’s retirement, Osweiler spurned the team that drafted him for more money with the Houston Texans. Osweiler’s one year with the Texans was one of great team success, but not personal.
Though the Texans did beat the Raiders in the AFC playoffs, it had more to do with Carr being out for Oakland and the great defense Houston had cooking last year. Houston out executed the Raiders in January, but Oakland did beat the Texans in Mexico City last year during the regular season.
Osweiler and his albatross of a contract would be traded to the Cleveland Browns in essentially a salary dump in March 2017. He would fail to beat out DeShone Kizer and Cody Kessler to be a starter or backup in Cleveland.
Elway extended to olive branch to Osweiler in offering him a contract with the Broncos. Thus, the 6-foot-8 prodigal son returned to the Mile High City. While Osweiler will compete with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch in Denver, Raider Nation has to be licking its chops in knowing that the Broncos are not going to be good at quarterback this year.
Siemian is a high-end backup and a decent spot starter, but we’ve seen him reach his finite ceiling under center for Denver. Osweiler can win games quarterbacking a defense-first football team like Denver. However, he lacks any touch on his passes or possesses enough athleticism to be anything more than a high-profile game manager.
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The real reason that Elway signed Osweiler off the street is that Lynch is dealing with a shoulder injury that will keep him out five weeks.
Elway has to realize that he might have whiffed on trading up to draft Lynch in the first round out of Memphis in 2016.
The dual-threat playmaker should have already won the job over Siemian by now, but that’s not the case.
In short, Osweiler’s signing is good for him and maybe the Broncos, but it’s great for all the teams in the AFC West. Oakland, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs all have Pro Bowl level quarterbacks. Denver definitely does not.
Given the amount of elite pass rushers playing in the AFC West, things could get very difficult behind a porous Broncos offensive line in Denver. Keep in mind that the Broncos have changed offenses since Osweiler last played for them. Former head coach Gary Kubiak retired and it’s now former Chargers head coach Mike McCoy calling the plays in Denver.
Oakland may have a ton of work to do on defense, but the Broncos are going to struggle to score points this year. It does not matter if it’s Lynch, Siemian or Osweiler under center, none of them will be able to keep up with Carr and the Raiders’ attack in 2017.