Updated: March 9, 2:30 p.m.
The Houston Texans have traded Brock Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns.
The Texans are shipping Osweiler and a 2018 second-round draft pick to Cleveland in an effort to dispose of the quarterback’s hefty contract. Houston will receive a fourth-round pick and also give Cleveland its 2017 sixth-round pick.
Some NFL analysts are predicting Cleveland might immediately cut or trade Osweiler.
The 2009 Flathead High School graduate played one tumultuous season in Houston after signing a four-year, $72 million deal to become the Texans’ starter. The 26-year-old is guaranteed $37 million from the deal but now Cleveland is taking on the remaining bulk of the cost.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the story and the Texans released a statement Thursday afternoon.
“We are committed to bringing a championship to the city of Houston,” stated Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Rick Smith. “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.”
Osweiler helped lead the Texans to the playoffs but struggled at times, forcing Houston to bench him at one point for Tom Savage. In his first year as a full-time starter, he was 8-6 and finished with 2,957 passing yards and 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He completed 59 percent of his passes.
The Browns were 1-15 last season.
Thursday’s trade marks another surprising twist in Osweiler’s relatively short NFL career. After spending four years mentoring under Peyton Manning in Denver, Osweiler rebuffed the Super Bowl champs’ offer to take over the starting role and signed with Houston, becoming one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the league.