HOUSTON (SPORTSRADIO 610) — Tom Savage will go from backing up Deshaun Watson to backing up Drew Brees.
That’s the official Twitter account of Savage’s agent, Neil Schwartz, who infamously ripped Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and his decision to bench Savage at halftime of the season opener.
Savage, a fourth round pick of the Texans in 2014, was the first quarterback drafted in the O’Brien era. He was brought as a developmental prospect given his upside, arm talent and experience in pro-style offenses, but never really stuck.
He got his chances.
Savage was named the starter just hours after Watson was drafted last spring, and was given repeated votes of confidence from O’Brien and even wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins all offseason.
But he was so ineffective against the Jacksonville Jaguars, O’Brien decided to pull the plug just 30 minutes into the season, going from Savage to Watson, who provided an instant spark to the offense.
Durability was one of Savage’s biggest issues in his four seasons with the Texans. He suffered season ending injuries every year here: knee (2014), shoulder (2015) and two concussions, including that scary scene last year against the San Francisco 49ers.
He also struggled to produce when healthy, completing 57.5 percent of his passes with five touchdowns, seven interceptions, 6.35 yards per attempt and a 72.5 quarterback rating in his career.
It’s unclear where the Texans will go from here at backup quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick, O’Brien’s first opening day starter, re-signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brian Hoyer, who took over in 2015, is still under contract with the New England Patriots.
Josh McCown re-upped with the New York Jets, who also signed Teddy Bridgewater. Tyrod Taylor went from the Buffalo Bills to the Cleveland Browns via trade. Case Keenum signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent. Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon are each headed to the desert to join the Arizona Cardinals.
A.J. McCarron, a fifth round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014, looks to be the odd man out in the starting quarterback carousel. Though the Patriots are reportedly interested in the former Alabama quarterback, and the Bills could decide to pursue McCarron as a stopgap while they groom a first-round rookie.
Other free agent quarterbacks available: Matt Moore, Chad Henne, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Weeden, Jay Cutler and Brock Osweiler.
The Texans could also turn to the draft to find a backup quarterback. The most sensible targets figure to be Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and USF’s Quinton Flowers. Who knows whether Jackson, one of the most polarizing prospects in the draft, will be there when the Texans go on the clock in the third round, but Flowers, who experts project as a late-round pick, should be.