Should Broncos QB Brock Osweiler Ask For a Trade?


It’s all about ‘Plan A’ for John Elway and the Denver Broncos, but what about when ‘Plan A’ doesn’t work out?

Up to this point, ‘Plan A’ has been nothing short of a failure in terms of the ultimate goal being a championship with Peyton Manning and the Broncos, and heading into year four with the team, the team and plenty of players are at a crossroads.

With the news of Manning training in Louisiana, planning on returning for an 18th NFL season breaking on Monday night, it got me to thinking — What will Brock Osweiler do?

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Everyone (perhaps rightly) assumes that Osweiler is AOK with sitting on the bench, waiting for his moment, and watching Peyton Manning do work. Everyone — again, perhaps rightly — assumes that Osweiler is okay waiting even a fourth year to get his shot at the starting gig in 2016 for the Denver Broncos. Oh, but there’s just one problem — Osweiler is a free agent in 2016.

The Broncos have given Osweiler barely a meaningful snap in three years of Peyton Manning playing quarterback. With plenty of blowouts and opportunity to play, Osweiler didn’t throw his first NFL touchdown pass until the final regular season game of his third year in the league. And according to him, he had to do some serious lobbying with the coaching staff to even be able to throw at that point in the game.

In other terms, the Broncos haven’t exactly brought Osweiler along in what I would consider to be the ideal way. After three seasons, we have literally no idea if he is going to work out as the starting quarterback as the team, and because Manning is coming back for his fourth season with the team, Osweiler’s rookie contract is running out and Manning is expected to be in his final NFL season, leaving the Broncos with…Zac Dysert in 2016.

Osweiler had mentioned after his brief stint in a week 17 victory over the Oakland Raiders that he was okay with the plan the Broncos had from him all along, but he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t itching to get on the field. Osweiler was asked if it was difficult to wait.

“Yes and no,” he said. “I say, ‘Yes,’ because I love to compete and I’m very confident in my abilities, and I see other guys in my draft class playing and playing very well, and I know I can do that same thing, so I want to go out there and compete and do that.

“But at the same time, I’m also in a different situation, and I realize the situation that I’m in. So that’s where the ‘no’ part comes in, because the things that I’ve been able to learn while sitting behind somebody and being a No. 2, are things that those guys (in the 2012 class) probably haven’t learned, or will never learn.”So I think I’m in the ultimate situation. I’m very thankful for it, and we’ll just see where the future goes.”

Osweiler ain’t kidding about that 2012 class. Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill, and Russell Wilson are all set to break the bank with $100 million plus contracts. Luck is expected to be the highest paid quarterback of all-time, and Wilson right close behind. Tannehill — in my humble opinion — wasn’t much better of a prospect than Osweiler coming out of college.

While Osweiler waits for Peyton Manning to make his decision, he patiently waits. There aren’t many times when he’s been asked much of anything, but in an offseason where the quarterback class in the NFL Draft is absolutely pitiful and the free agent group even worse (led by Brian Hoyer and Mark Sanchez), a guy like Osweiler with plenty of upside could be in high demand.

I think he could ask for a trade. It doesn’t mean the Broncos will say ‘yes’ but he won’t have any value to them after this season unless you assume he is going to sign a new contract with zero playing experience and really no free agent value. Without any meaningful snaps, Osweiler becomes the new Kevin Kolb. He is that 6-8 quarterback with a rocket arm and intriguing athletic ability. He certainly wouldn’t be the first developmental quarterback to ask for a trade out of the place he was drafted to sit and learn behind a legend.

Ryan Mallett was drafted in the third round by the New England Patriots a few years ago with the thought that he could perhaps one day take over for Tom Brady. Brady showed no signs of slowing down, unlike Manning has at this point, and Mallett decided in a contract year to request a trade and was eventually dealt to the Houston Texans where he at least got some game tape out there.

For Osweiler, what it all comes down to is whether or not he wants to return to Denver next season. He has that decision, but he will likely not have the opportunity to increase his value any if that’s what he chooses. Not all players choose money over a good situation, and Brock could be the exception here, but I had to ask myself if I would want to be traded if I was in Brock’s shoes.

Personally, I would want to play and have the chance to show what I could do. Then again, I love the Broncos.

Does Brock?

That’s the big question here, is how much does Brock Osweiler love and trust the Broncos organization? The team drafted him to be the quarterback of the future, but they don’t seem to be in any hurry for that to get here. While Osweiler understands that, you have to wonder if he might just wonder what it would be like if he was ‘the guy’ for some team going into this season. He obviously feels like he’s ready and that he can play.

The Broncos’ plan all along was to win at least one Super Bowl between 2012 and this past season, but they failed to do so. Maybe it is time for ‘Plan B’. Maybe, as much as John Elway would hate to admit it, it’s time to abandon the original plan and get a new ‘Plan A’. That doesn’t mean letting go of Peyton Manning, but it would mean making some significant decisions.

The Broncos should extend Osweiler if he’s the guy for the future. Before the 2015 season.

A new ‘Plan A’.