Osweiler’s Guarantee Has Similar Offset Language To Revis’, Making Release More Palatable For Browns


The initial impulse of many to the Cleveland Browns’ trade for quarterback Brock Osweiler and a second-round pick was one of bemusement, as one who finds the bumbling fool being his usual self. But as the dust settled, the deal started to make more and more sense to many people, though not everybody.

The Browns were pretty upfront about the fact that their target in the trade was the second-round pick, and the $16 million quarterback was secondary, if not simply collateral. According to Browns beat writers, Cleveland has no intention of keeping a $16 million backup quarterback on the roster to start the 2017 season.

Which means one of two things, of course, both of which will work out roughly similar to one another. If they are able to trade Osweiler, they will be able to recoup another draft pick of some value in addition to being able to pass on some of that money they would owe him.

Failing the ability to find a trading partner, the Browns will reportedly release him, but that doesn’t mean that they will be on the hook for $16 million.

That’s because he apparently has the same sort of offset language in his contract as Darrell Revis had with the Jets. So any money he gets from another team that signs him will be basically taken off Cleveland’s tab.


Many are positing that Revis will simply sit out the season and collect his millions if he can’t find a deal with more than $6 million, which is the amount of guaranteed money he is owed from the Jets. Osweiler is in no position to do the same if he intends to have a future in this league.

The former second-round draft pick is far from a proven starter. He may have been able to find somebody willing to pay him like one, but if he wants to find himself another starting job somewhere in the league, he can’t be thinking about sitting out a season. What would that say to teams about the player you’re making the face of your franchise, your team leader?

If Osweiler is released, he will at some point be signed by somebody else. He is not actually a terrible quarterback, even if he might not be handed a starting job.

But the point is that the Browns can still shave some of the price tag off of that second-round pick yet, which makes the deal sound that much more sensible for them.

More sensible than having a $16 million backup that you traded for as collateral.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi
Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.
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  • PompeyGoat

    Yeah but surely he’ll only receive offers for the minimum (no one’s going over $16m so it’ll make no difference to him) so it’s hardly a massive saving.

  • Petherson Silveira

    Just sign for the vet minimum with another team the you can compete for the starting job. You will make those 16mi anyway.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Not necessarily. This isn’t a 32-year-old washed up cornerback. We’re talking about a quarterback in his mid-20s. He should be able to get a multi-year deal.

  • HaroldCallahan

    Releasing a player accelerates all of his cap hit onto the current year, so even if Osweiler signs a multi-year deal, only the first year would offset Cleveland’s salary cap hit.

  • ThenAtlasSpoke

    You’re right, Cleveland won’t be on the hook for $16 million. They’ll be on the hook for $15.225 million, no matter what. That’s because the veteran minimum for a player with Osweiler’s service years is $775K. Every other team knows it makes no sense to offer more because no matter what he is offered, Osweiler will take home his whole $16 mil. Other teams will also want to see how he does before offering him more in a longer term deal.

    Osweiler knows this too, so he’ll be more interested in going to a team who will let him repair his damaged reputation to enter free agency from a stronger position next year. He’ll likely be more concerned with that than anything else he could try to negotiate from another team.

    What does that mean for Cleveland? It means they can either have a serviceable backup/spot starter for $16 million or pay $15.225 million, not have that serviceable backup, and have to pay another one $3 million. So, to have a serviceable backup they can pay either $16 million, or pay $18.225 million. Which would you do?

    If the Browns cut Osweiler, everybody in that front office should be fired.

  • Matthew Marczi

    Yeah, but if he gets a multi-year contract the first-year value is going to be more than the minimum and there will be a signing bonus.