A year after signing him to the largest free agent deal in franchise history, the Texans officially cut the cord on the Brock Osweiler era by shipping him along with this year’s sixth round pick and 2018’s second rounder to the Cleveland Browns for a 2017 fourth round pick, clearing $10 million off the Texans 2017 salary cap, while forcing the Browns to pay Osweiler’s $16 million salary for 2017 in exchange for a second round pick.
The Texans announced the trade in a press release where general manager Rick Smith said 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.”
Smith and O’Brien held press conferences during last week’s scouting combine in Indianapolis and said very little about their now former quarterback, and knowing how the two men operate, you figure the believe Smith’s statement closes the book on this whole ordeal. It shouldn’t, and it doesn’t.
I have questions, lots of them, and I believe the two men responsible for one of the biggest free agent disasters in NFL history should have to answer them:
1. At Osweiler’s introductory press conference, you both talked about how you came out of the film room and agreed Osweiler was the guy, what made you think that?
2. Was there any disagreement on Osweiler’s ability, and if so, who was the bigger detractor?
3. Did your desperation for a quarterback force you to ignore flaws that under normal circumstances you wouldn’t have ignored?
4. When did you first come to the realization that this wasn’t going to work?
5. Osweiler was at least competent when given a chance in Denver, while O’Brien found away to get decent play out of the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Hoyer, so why was this partnership such a disaster?
6. Were the reports of altercations between Osweiler and O’Brien accurate and if so, what caused the relationship to sour?
7. Would the team have been better off with Brandon Weeden as the backup to Tom Savage when Osweiler was benched after the Jacksonville game?
8. What kind of effect did Osweiler’s poor play have on the locker room?
9. Did anyone think Osweiler could be salvaged and who was the biggest advocate for removing him from the roster?
10. What have you learned about evaluating quarterbacks and will this force you to be more conservative in the long run?
Along those same lines, Osweiler said nothing following the trade’s announcement and hasn’t spoken publicly since the Texans’ Divisional Round loss in Foxboro two months ago. He will go down as the biggest bust in franchise history and even though he never has to answer them, I have questions for him:
1. When did the partnership between you and O’Brien start to take a bad turn?
2. How do you evaluate your 2016 season?
3. Before joining the Texans, you played for Adam Gase and Gary Kubiak. Compare O’Brien to the two from Denver.
4. Is O’Brien a good coach?
5. What was O’Brien’s relationship with George Godsey like and did any disharmony spread to the rest of the offense?
6. Why could you and DeAndre Hopkins never get on the same page?
7. Did you think Hopkins played hard all season?
8. How do you think you were treated by O’Brien when things started to turn south?
9. What was the feeling like when you were told about the trade?
10. Who deserves the most blame for your failure with the Texans?