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Browns acquire QB Brock Osweiler from Texans, but might be looking to trade him still

Divisional Round - Houston Texans v New England Patriots Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cleveland Browns have acquired QB Brock Osweiler from the Houston Texans. However, this could be a unique situation where they are doing a trade purely for a draft pick, and then they might be looking to flip Osweiler to somebody else. Here is the full report from Schefter:

Texans trade QB Brock Osweiler AND a 2018 second-round pick to Cleveland for the Browns to take Osweiler’s $16M salary of Houston’s books, per league sources. The move clears out millions in salary-cap space for Houston to intensify efforts to sign former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, per sources.

To be exact, Houston saves $16 million in cash and $10 million against their cap this season. The Texans also will get the Browns’ fourth-round pick this year in exchange for their own 6th-round pick. So Cleveland gets Osweiler’s contract, a 2018 second-round pick and a 2017 sixth-round pick, and Houston gets Cleveland’s 2017 fourth-round pick, saves $10 million in salary-cap space and $16 million in cash.

Cleveland is not committed to keeping Osweiler and is likely to try to trade him, per sources. If so, it would turn into a basketball-like trade in which NBA teams routinely trade contracts to get them off their books; only it rarely, if ever, happens in the NFL. It’s hard to remember in the salary-cap era another team when a team traded a contract to get it off its books.

But Houston was so anxious to rid itself of Osweiler and move on to its next quarterbacking chapter that it is giving Cleveland extra picks to take him and his contract. The Browns headed into this free-agent signing period with over $100 million worth of salary-cap space and would struggle to spend it all. Now they can devote some of it to Osweiler’s contract and acquiring extra draft picks from Houston. But this is one of the most, if not the most, creative trade in NFL history.

Long story short, the Browns don’t seem likely to have Osweiler as their starting quarterback. Cleveland had so much cap space that they basically purchased a 2nd round pick in 2018 from the Texans. The Browns do give up a 4th round pick in this year’s draft, and the Texans are giving the Browns a 6th round pick in 2017.

This is so wild that it’s hard to digest right now.