Quarterback Brock Osweiler has agreed to a massive four-year, $72 million deal with the Houston Texans, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The Denver Broncos were expected to sign their backup-turned-starter to a contract extension this offseason, but didn't get a deal done in time and Osweiler was persuaded to join the Texans.
Osweiler was officially announced as a member of the team on Thursday, saying he was "excited to be a Houston Texan."
"Nobody will outwork me. Nobody will outprepare me," Osweiler said.
As part of his new deal, the Texans will pay their quarterback $37 million guaranteed in the first two years of the contract, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today. He'll get $21 million this season, with $4 million in base salary, $12 million as a signing bonus and another $5 million roster bonus. His base salary of $16 million next year is fully guaranteed. In other words, the Texans are about as committed as it gets to making Osweiler their starter.
Osweiler will be joined in Houston by running back Lamar Miller, who's coming to Houston on a four-year, $26 million deal. The Texans also added a key piece to their offensive line to help protect the investment they're making in Osweiler. Offensive guard Jeff Allen, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, was signed to a four-year, $28 million deal by the Texans.
The Texans had several players start under center last season. Brian Hoyer was named the starter in the beginning, but was benched after one game for Ryan Mallett. Mallett was eventually benched himself, and then released, while Hoyer took back over but succumbed to injury. T.J. Yates then got the starting nod, got hurt and was replaced by Brandon Weeden. Hoyer came back in time to lead the Texans to the playoffs, but threw four interceptions in a 30-0 beatdown at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round.
Osweiler rode the bench for his first three seasons in the NFL, before getting a chance to relieve Peyton Manning in Week 10 when the veteran threw four interceptions and only five passes. Manning was battling plantar fasciitis and Osweiler earned the starting nod for seven games.
In his time as a starter, the young quarterback went 5-2, throwing for 1,967 yards and nine touchdowns against only five picks. He was replaced by Manning again in Week 17, in the Broncos regular season finale, after a first half that was filled with turnovers and mistakes.
It wasn't a pretty quarterback picture for the Texans last season. Hoyer didn't play terribly but doesn't inspire much confidence given his inconsistent play and injury history. He completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 2,606 yards with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions in limited time last season.
Heading into his fifth season as a pro, Osweiler has 21 games of experience under one of the most successful quarterbacks in history. Osweiler will be headed to his first new team since being drafted by the Broncos in 2012, but he should have a good chance to succeed in his new city.
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