The Browns and Texans pulled off a stunning trade yesterday, with Houston sending Brock Osweiler, a 2018 second rounder and a 2017 6th rounder to Cleveland in exchange for a 2017 fourth round choice.
So Houston admits signing Osweiler was one of the biggest mistakes in league history, gets him in the hell out of their locker room, which could make room for Tony Romo, and they clear $10 mill in cap space immediately and $16m in cash.
So all in all, a wild and unprecedented trade in the NFL.
You see this type of salary dump in the NBA all the time. But not the NFL.
And the reason you don’t see it in the NFL is you’re not allowed to do it. You’re not supposed to be able to just buy draft picks. And that’s exactly what the Browns did.
They threw mad jack at a second round draft pick. That trade wasn’t about acquiring a Q.B. that deal was done to get that second rounder. Can’t imagine the Browns want Osweiler anymore than the Texans did. And the Texans couldn’t wait to get rid of him. And Browns executive V.P. of Football Operations Sashi Brown all but admitted they couldn’t care less about Osweiler; that it was the draft pick they wanted: “We’re really excited to acquire a second round draft choice in this trade. Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship caliber football team. We are intent on adding competition to every position on our roster and look forward to having Brock come in and compete.”
Sure you’re not. That’s just something you say when you’re trying to convince folks that you really didn’t just buy a draft pick. They don’t want this guy and reportedly started shopping him the second they got him. They’re looking for some other suckers to take him off their hands. And even if they can’t, they can carry him or cut him; it doesn’t matter; not given how much cap space they have.
And that’s the bottom line here: their biggest tangible asset is their cap space. They have so much they can absorb the hit that comes along with Osweiler and his contract. They don’t care. They used it to buy that second rounder, the one thing they do care about. Because while everyone likes accumulating draft picks, no one likes it as much as Cleveland. They love it. The question is, going forward, will the league allow teams to keep doing what they just did… I don’t know the answer, but at least for now, the Browns get over. And I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I like it. I like the move for Cleveland. The Browns did something smart. There. I said it. Well… smart, with one caveat.
It’s smart because stockpiling picks is smart. Sure, you can argue that they overpaid for that pick. But it’s just money. They could afford to make that move. And while plenty think they’re idiots for doing it, I’m not one of them.
And believe me, if it was Bill Belichick who made the move, the same people who are calling the Browns morons, would hail Belichick as a genius. Both the hood and the Browns have earned those reputations. But I do like the move for Cleveland. And now they’re loaded with draft picks and cap room.
It’s a great place to be. Provided, and here’s the catch, they know what to do with it all. That’s the kicker in the whole thing; I think they’ve positioned themselves beautifully. Just as long as they don’t go all Browns with it and butcher those draft picks. No use in having 5 selections in the first 65 if you’re going to draft as horribly as the Browns always have. What good is having all that cap space if you’re going to scratch fat checks for fat guys? So I really like what they did. Provided they make good use of the pick and all that cap space.
But don’t get it twisted; they straight bought that pick from the Texans. Something you’re not supposed to be able to do in the NFL. And now we’ll see if the league will allow it to continue.