#2- Brock Osweiler
2016 Status: Mortar
Explanation: As the Broncos starting QB for nearly half the regular season, Osweiler led the Broncos to an impressive 5-2 record and showed flashes of being a good NFL QB. Until mid-way through the 2015 season, Osweiler was virtually an unknown commodity in the NFL. A 2nd round pick in the 2012 draft, Osweiler had spent his first 3 1/2 seasons in the NFL waiting in the shadow of Peyton Manning, hoping to emerge as his eventual successor. He not only proved himself to be a capable NFL back-up/spot starter, but also a guy that was ready to get his chance to be an NFL starter on a regular basis. The question become, will that be with the Broncos?
To be honest, I could see his scenario going all three ways.
- They love him enough to give him a contract extension now and make him “the guy”, giving him “brick” status.
- They like what they saw of him in the regular season and give him a competitive short term deal to prove his worth (mortar status).
- They’re not convinced on his long-term prospects and they allow him to walk in Free Agency. They may also get outbid by another team and realize that it’s too costly to re-sign him.
Unlike Manning’s situation in which seems like there is only one rational conclusion, Osweiler’s could be a mix of all three categories. I DO think they like him enough to hope that he’s the future of the Broncos at that position. I DO think that they’ve seen enough from him that they would be comfortable with him as their starter next year. Finally, I DO think that there will be atleast one other team in Free Agency willing to grossly over pay for his services, causing a likely exit from Denver.
One very important thing to keep in mind heading into this part of the off-season is, when you’re evaluating a player and their long-term prospects, you have to take the bad with the good. One problem I have with people who strongly support Osweiler and his return to Denver is that they tend to “Cherry Pick” his accomplishment, yet ignore his pitfalls or make an excuse for any mistakes he made.
For example, many will point to his come from behind wins against the Patriots and the Bengals as reasons why he can be the guy moving forward, yet don’t address the pitiful performances he had against the Raiders and halves against the Steelers/Chargers. There were some things that were out of his control in those losses, but also things he had nothing to do with in those wins, either. At the end of the day, you have to evaluate everything you see from the player and you can’t make a final judgement based on a few good or bad things he did.
I was a big fan of Osweiler’s coming out of Arizona State and loved the fact that the Broncos drafted him when many others dismissed the pick. In some ways, it’s very ironic that nearly 4 years later I’m put in a position to play devil’s advocate. At the end of the day, I want what’s best for the Broncos and I will always do my best to stay objective when evaluating players that can help or hurt this team.
I listed him as mortar because like I mentioned above, his situation could be a mix of all three statuses. He could certainly be your starter next year (mortar), he has potential to become a long term answer at the position (brick) and there’s a good chance he won’t develop any further or leave for another opportunity in Free Agency (scrap).
The Broncos will certainly try to re-sign him, but it has to be at the right price.