Former Broncos QB Brock Osweiler Wishes he Hadn't Listened to Agents & Ignored Elway's Calls

Chad Jensen

Hindsight is always 20/20. Be that as it may, Brock Osweiler can't look back at how he handled the events that led to his defection to the Houston Texans in 2016 with any emotion besides regret. 

Sure, the Texans showed Osweiler the money. And the difference between what the Denver Broncos were offering and what he eventually got from the Texans was sizable but in the final analysis, was that $3 million per year difference ultimately worth it? The former NFL quarterback took the money but regrets what it cost him.

It cost him the opportunity to become the Broncos' franchise quarterback and perhaps even the chance to win a Super Bowl as the starting quarterback of the team who drafted him. Instead, after Osweiler's defection, the Broncos drafted Paxton Lynch and rolled with the second-year Trevor Siemian in 2016 in the team's effort to defend their title. 

Even with that inexperienced QB room, the Broncos won nine games in Gary Kubiak's last year as head coach, mostly due to a Herculean effort from the team's two Pro Bowl wideouts to cover the deficiencies of Siemian and Lynch — Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders — and that ferocious defense that returned nine of 11 Super Bowl starters. 

Meanwhile, Osweiler took the money and despite leading the Texans to a modestly successful 2016 season in which Houston won the AFC South, his clash with head coach Bill O'Brien resulted in Osweiler being dealt to the Cleveland Browns in the spring of 2017 along with a second-round pick, just to clear him off the Texans' books and start from scratch at quarterback. Osweiler didn't even make it to September football with the Browns, who cut him on the doorstep of the season.  

In an excellent piece by SI's Greg Bishop, Osweiler, who announced his retirement last October, ruminated on how things ended with the Broncos in 2016, even though he'd be reunited for a brief run in 2017 playing on the veteran minimum. Osweiler's regret over listening to his agents more than his gut still haunts him. 

For weeks, Elway didn’t call. Kubiak did, telling him, “Dude, I know you’re our guy,” and “I want to coach you for a long time.” The quarterback’s agents eventually told him not to answer any call from Elway after a certain cutoff date near the start of free agency. Osweiler wishes he hadn’t listened. While out at dinner one night, he saw Elway’s number blink across his home screen. His thumb lingered over the “talk” button, but he let it go. Elway left a message, saying he wanted to come to Scottsdale and talk. He sent an offer to CAA: three years, $39 million.

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The Texans' offer was four years, $72 million with a whopping $37 million guaranteed. Osweiler took it and jumped into his new football environs with both feet, even choosing to skip the Broncos' trip to the White House as Super Bowl champs so as not to miss even a day of Texans' OTAs. 

But if he could go back in time, Osweiler would do it differently. 

“I wouldn’t even have picked up John’s call,” Osweiler told Bishop. “I would have called John two weeks before that and told him, Listen I want to be a Bronco until I die. If you want me, let’s get this done.

The deal would have gotten done and who knows how history might have unfolded for Osweiler and the Broncos. I've long maintained that had Osweiler not defected to Houston, and would he have taken his rightful place as the Broncos' franchise quarterback and successor to Peyton Manning, his career trajectory would have been completely different. 

Instead of staying home and having the full faith and support of the organization who not only drafted him, but whom he helped win a Super Bowl in 2015, Osweiler stepped out into the NFL wilderness. But he did so with a lot more money in his bank account. 

Still, he would have gotten most of that same money had he accepted Elway's three-year, $39M offer. And he wouldn't have had to cut ties with the coaches and teammates he'd bonded with and built trust with — and won with — to become the new guy in a new city with new faces across the board. 

Osweiler eventually returned to Denver as a reclamation project in 2017 but by then, after all the tumult he'd been through emotionally, he wasn't the same guy. And the Broncos weren't the same team. That ship, as it were, had sailed. 

I'll always wonder what could have happened had Osweiler accepted that offer and stayed in Denver. And from the sounds of it, that regret still haunts Osweiler today, despite the $41M in salary he made in the NFL and the beautiful young family he has in Arizona. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

THANKS FOR READING MILE HIGH HUDDLE
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Comments (36)
No. 1-18
CarlDumler
CarlDumler

You would think that by now Agents would tell players to please not take any contract negotiations personally. They always get a little ugly at first. I really think that Osweiler's agents did him no favors. I know they were using a tactic that plenty have but players today are not the same as even 10-years ago. Both teams and agents need to realize that and it is why you are starting to see even some big name players opt to not even have an agent.

smilinassassin
smilinassassin

As I recall, Denver was able to maintain some of their players due to not having to pay Brock (or Kaep) a big contract. So that should be taken into account in hindsight.

They wouldn’t have made the Paxton mistake, so they may have had a better first round pick and second rounder as well. Long term, I don’t know if it changes things. Elway would still have had the same mentality that gave us the 2017 draft. The talent still would have aged out. Kubiak would have still retired. Elway would have still picked Joseph. And I don’t know that Brock, even without the turd season in Houston, would have turned into the type of QB to carry a team through that mess.

broncofan55555
broncofan55555

Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Osweiler's ingratitude showed up big time when he didn't even travel to the White House to celebrate the team's Super Bowl win in which he played a major part.

Brew77
Brew77

The fact is Brock would have flamed out in Denver the same way he did in Houston he was nothing more than an average to below average NFL QB. Fact is he got full of himself and reacted like a true child once he was benched for Peyton during the playoff/Super Bowl run. He had NO intentions of resigning with the Broncos once that happened no matter what he says now he had chances to prove himself in Houston Cleveland back to Denver and Miami and only proved he was a bad QB nothing more. Players will always say the regret taking the money when it doesn’t work out but they never say it when it does work. By leaving Denver he got about $10 million more than than he would have if he stayed and he ought to be thankful for that once he became a full time starter he was exposed as not a good decision maker and would have never signed for anything close to what he got. Sour Grapes

ZED Fan from Aus
ZED Fan from Aus

I have to say that I agree with Brock's career 'could' have been much better had he stayed with Denver. It's something I've said from the start - although we will never know, Brock and the Broncos could be in a much better place today if he had stayed. Consistency leads to success and Brock leaving had a massive effect.

EchoChamber
EchoChamber

Great story and I wonder too. I think he would have done better in Denver than Houston and Cleveland yet not be anywhere near a franchise QB.

smilinassassin
smilinassassin

People who wanna just trash on Brock as being a spoiled child are missing some of the underlying themes of the piece.

The first being he was a 25 year old navigating his life the best way he could. There are a lot of old men getting bitter about kids in their early 20’s making life decisions that they themselves would be ill prepared to make.

The second is that you have someone who is saying he doesn’t find satisfaction in the money as much as doing what he loves. He repeatedly acknowledges everything he has and how life could be worse. But just the idea that there is more to happiness than money. It’s a good lesson.

DKMI
DKMI

Blame the agents all he wants. Truth is, he was butt hurt over being benched for Manning. He figured he’d show the Broncos a thing or two and left. I’m sure his agents did nudge him in negotiations, but they did ultimately get him more money, which is what it’s all about. NFL careers are painfully short. Not much of a chance to cash in. He was able to do just that. He was never going to be a franchise QB in Denver. His success there was based on having a great team around him. That would have faded, and Osweiller would have proven to not be a difference maker. He may have had the chance to start a Super Bowl though. Then again, maybe not. We’ll never know.

Kebby77
Kebby77

Hes only saying this now because nobody wants or wanted him. But maybe, just maybe if we signed him, maybe we get Shanny Jr to coach him. Maybe john and joe choose to go a different route as our coach.

Steve Atwater 27
Steve Atwater 27

At the time coming off the SB50 win he was selfish, immature, petty and just kinda weird. Earned that SB ring but, "What if" will be his legacy. A man does what a man does. Brock took someone else advise and got paid for it, but was obviously left wanting. Go Broncos!

Denverkewl
Denverkewl

He is a big boy. Just like Cutler refusing to answer Mr B's calls...oh wait you think he didn't know about that and the result? Bull. He was butt hurt, rude, petulant and childish and now trying to rewrite history. He blew it, made a ton - so be it. Now go away, go spend your dough and retire to oblivion. I don't begrudge him for taking the money but how he handled it. Then his play couldn't cash those checks his ego was writing. You know D Ware coached the guys to go sit down with Elway personally if they had a contract issue...there's a reason for that.

Mikeal66
Mikeal66

Personally greatfull you didnt listen because your a lame ass QB. As your stint in Houston showed

OTAs
OTAs

Osweiler should have fired his agent and signed on with Jerry Maguire.

Lonnyb4
Lonnyb4

I think under the circumstances, i would have made the same choice. When it came to the Super Bowl win that year he was snubbed so bad by Elway,Bolins bad face lift ol'lady & Manning it was sad. Not one time did any one say because of him they would'nt have even been in the Super Bowl. And Manning, he played the worst game possible.

Broncofan4real
Broncofan4real

Brock Osweiler and John Elway' son were friends a while back.

Coffeedude1234567
Coffeedude1234567

Let’s see here, you helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 you kept the thing rolling while Peyton Manning was injured. You got a Super Bowl ring, you didn’t play much so you didn’t get seriously injured. You made 41’million guaranteed. Sounds Like a great business plan. So you Weren’t the starter for the Super bowl? So what most people physically can never even be a third string punter much less play pro football. Be happy with 41 million a ring no health issues and you did play some and helped get that ring. I would be smiling everyday 😀💰💰💰💸💸💸💵💵💵😀👍

MykeDog
MykeDog

Sounds like Brock is asking for a job as a backup to Lock

Tomcat14
Tomcat14

I couldn’t wait for the following year to see Brock at starting QB! Only to realize that he took GREED over a team that had his back! Serves him right! He had the Bull by it horns! What happened? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ got the best of him!


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