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Browns cut Brock Osweiler, like everyone thought they would in March

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The Browns moved on from Osweiler at the end of the preseason.

NFL: Cleveland Browns-Minicamp Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns gave Brock Osweiler a fair shot at winning the starting job. He just couldn’t prove he deserved it — or a spot on the roster. After naming rookie DeShone Kizer as the regular season starting quarterback, the Browns released Osweiler.

Despite some initial rumors about the Browns looking to trade Osweiler once they acquired him from the Houston Texans, they kept him through training camp and the preseason. He even looked liked he would be the Browns’ Week 1 starter at one point.

But then he only completed 12 of 24 passes for 67 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception in two preseason games.

Osweiler, 26, was the prized acquisition of the 2016 offseason for the Texans, signing a four-year, $72 million deal in free agency. The Texans — evidently impressed by Osweiler’s seven starts with the Denver Broncos — surrounded him with new weapons, but eventually benched the quarterback for Tom Savage. He finished with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

For the Browns, the acquisition of Osweiler was a strategic way to spend the team’s more than $100 million in cap space. By trading for him, Cleveland added a second-round pick in the 2018 draft, continuing the front office’s quest to acquire as many assets as possible.

Even after releasing the quarterback, the Browns owe him $16 million in 2017.

Cleveland has been building for the long haul, stockpiling five draft picks in the first 65 selections in 2017 and using Osweiler to better position the team in the 2018 NFL Draft, as well.

Despite getting dumped by the Browns, the potential that made Osweiler a sought-after free agent a year ago means the door is likely not shut on the sixth-year quarterback. With his pricey Texans contract now in the shredder, there are plenty of teams that could use more quarterback depth, although it’s doubtful that anyone will be interested in Osweiler being their starter.

Among those teams could be the Broncos, the team that launched his career and wanted to make him the starter in the post-Peyton Manning era. Denver is reportedly interested in bringing Osweiler’s wacky 18 months full circle.