The NFL world went wild on the first day of free agency Thursday for a move that had nothing to do with free agents at all.
Former Arizona State Sun Devils’ quarterback Brock Osweiler was traded, along with a second-round and sixth-round draft pick, from the Houston Texans to the Cleveland Browns. In return, the Texans received a fourth-round pick and got Osweiler off their payroll.
With speculation that the Browns are flirting with the idea of flat-out releasing Osweiler, Kurt Warner joined Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday and said the QB just needs an opportunity to grow.
“The problem is that with a big contract come big expectations and here’s a guy that started five games and they gave him a $72 million contract, and so all of a sudden his expectations are to play like a $72 million quarterback, and he just wasn’t ready for that yet,” Warner said.
“He wasn’t ready to be in that situation. He was going into a new system, he had to grow up and learn how to play the quarterback position. That to me is the unfortunate part of free agency. Yes, at the end of the day they get money and they can ride off into the sunset, but I’ll be the first one to tell you nobody just wants the money. Everybody wants to be remembered and wants to be able to perfect their craft and be really really good at what they do.”
On the first day of free agency in 2016, Osweiler left the Denver Broncos for Houston and signed a four-year, $72 million deal. The first two years of the contract came with $37 million guaranteed.
With such a big contract came those high expectations, despite the fact the former Sun Devils QB had started just seven games in the first four seasons of his NFL career.
“What you’re seeing with the guys like Brock and the guys like Mike Glennon and the contracts they’re getting — they’re unproven guys,” Warner said. “You’re reaching on guys simply because you need somebody at that position to be successful.”
The Chicago Bears, who signed the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback to a three-year $45 million deal Thursday, surely expect Glennon to perform better than Osweiler did last year.
Although he led the Texans to a 8-6 record, Osweiler drew criticism for his short passing mentality and failure to make the big plays. He tallied 15 passing touchdowns with a 59.0 completion percentage, while tossing 197.1 yards per game. He also threw 16 interceptions.
“Brock I know is frustrated right now with trying to figure out what the future has in store, who’s going to give him a chance, and unfortunately this one year with that big money has made people look at him completely differently.
“I don’t think he lived up to a lot of expectations, and I think he’ll be the first one to tell you that he didn’t live up to his expectations.”
Osweiler will participate in Warner’s Ultimate Football Experience, which is a fundraising event of First Things First. Up to 12 eight-person teams will play in a flag football tournament Friday and Saturday at the Arizona Cardinals Training Complex.
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