Friday, August 4, 2017

The Osweiler trade machine spinneth

Make note of this . . .

Whenever a starting National Football League quarterback goes down in practice, rev up the Brock Osweiler trade machine for the Browns.

Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins became the first of those quarterbacks to set off alarms of panic when his damaged left knee buckled in non-contact fashion Thursday in a scrimmage.

The rumor mill almost instantaneously reached maximum speed and Osweiler, whose place on the Browns’ roster is still surprising to some, wound up smack in the middle.

The tall quarterback, thought to be gonzo well before training camp because of his bloated $16 million contract, has a theoretical connection to the Tannehill injury. That connection links him to Miami head coach Adam Gase, who was Osweiler’s offensive coordinator in Denver in 2015.

Linking the two was a natural mainly because Gase still runs the same offense in Miami and Osweiler, who filled in admirably when Peyton Manning went down early in the 2015 campaign, is comfortable running it.

So with Tannehill possibly through for the season or, at the very least, not ready for the regular season, why not seek out a deal with the Browns to reunite Gase and Osweiler? Makes perfect sense.

Gase, as you might expect, immediately said backup Matt Moore is now the starter. So let us tone down the Osweiler-to Miami talk and let the front offices of the Browns and Dolphins, if they so choose, take this to another level and try to work something out.

Speculation has already belched out Jay Cutler’s name as a possibility along with Osweiler to replace Tannehill. The retired Chicago Bears quarterback signed a contract with Fox Sports a few months ago and is ostensibly going to be in he booth this season.

As the exhibition season unfolds, other veteran quarterbacks will go down and Osweiler, unless the potentiality of a Dolphins deal becomes a reality, undoubtedly will become the subject of a deal.

Osweiler says he loves it in Cleveland. He says he loves playing for the Browns. He probably knows that if he is still on the roster the week of the season opener against Pittsburgh, he will be under center against the Steelers. That’s because he is the best – and most experienced – quarterback on the Cleveland roster.

The Browns, on the other hand, would not be unhappy to get Osweiler off the books – they might have to eat some of that huge salary to help facilitate a deal – and move everyone up the depth chart.

That would mean a battle between a pro sophomore (Cody Kessler) and a rookie (DeShone Kizer) for the top spot with Kevin Hogan, another pro soph, moving into the No. 3 hole. All of which almost guarantees the club will start the season with the rookie in charge of the huddle.

Unless Kizer looks absolutely overwhelmed during the exhibition season, I don’t see coach Hue Jackson going with Kessler out of the chute if Osweiler is elsewhere. He already knows what he’ll get from him.

But first things first. The Osweiler Watch is officially under way.

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