Column: The Brocketship’s failure to launch

In this Aug. 26, 2017, file photo, Cleveland Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa, Fla. Osweiler is returning to Denver as the Broncos' backup quarterback. The Broncos agreed to terms with Peyton Manning's former apprentice Saturday, Sept. 2, on a one-year deal after he was cut by the Browns. Provided he passes his physical Monday, Osweiler will serve as Trevor Siemian's understudy in his second stint in Denver. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

How the not-so-mighty have fallen. NFL quarterback Brock Osweiler, who split playing time with Peyton Manning en route to winning Super Bowl 50 before proceeding to sign a $72 million dollar contract with the Houston Texans, was cut by the Cleveland Browns.

It’s been a whirlwind NFL journey for Osweiler so far. He perfectly exemplifies the quarterback bubble in today’s league, teams will seriously overpay for any sort of semblance of a mediocre quarterback. If you want evidence, look at recent quarterback signings. Matt Stafford is the highest paid player ever. Before that, it was Derek Carr. And in a little less than 12 months, Kirk Cousins will most likely break the record.

We will be living in a day and age where Kirk Cousins is the highest paid NFL player.

But for now, we’ll focus on Osweiler. The 57th overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Arizona State product got his first big break in 2015. Osweiler played in eight games, starting in seven of them while going 5-2 with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. He was the active backup quarterback when Denver took down Carolina in Super Bowl 50.  He was rewarded for his mediocre regular season performance, however, with a hefty contract from the Houston Texans.

In his one season in Houston, Osweiler set the single season franchise record for interceptions with 16. He went 8-6 in his fourteen starts before being replaced by backup Tom Savage in week 15.  Following the season, the Texans traded Osweiler and a sixth round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a fourth round pick. The Browns named rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer their starter on Sept. 2 and in turn, Osweiler was cut. He signed a new contract less than 24 hours later with none other than the Denver Broncos.

So it was time for Osweiler to face the music in Denver. Broncos GM John Elway groomed him as the man to take over for Manning and he made the choice to leave. So when asked about the decision to leave on his first day back with the Broncos, Osweiler had this to offer: "It's kind of like that old deal when you're a little kid and your mom, you know, she tells you, 'Don't touch the hot stove.' So, what do you have to do as a curious kid? You've got to go touch the hot stove and you learn real quick how nice that stove is when it's not hot."

In other words, Osweiler took a chance to become QB1 for an NFL team. He, and the rest of the league, found out that he is just not very good. He touched the stove, and found out it was too hot. Back to a backup job for the “Brocketship.”



Connor Donahue is the digital editor for The Daily Campus, covering men’s ice hockey. He can be reached via email at connor.f.donahue@uconn.edu. He tweets @conn_donahue.