As free agency began Thursday in the NFL, the Browns were active. They drastically strengthened their offensive line and added Kenny Britt to their receiving corps.
The biggest move of the day, though, was a trade as the Browns sent compensatory fourth and sixth-round picks to Houston for a second round pick and quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Really, the Browns gave up nothing since compensatory picks fall at the end of the round. They have to, at least for the time being, eat Osweiler’s $16 million contract.
Houston’s second-round pick may well be worth something, and the Browns sure hope it is, since they just paid $16 million for it. Still, they’re only on the hook for one year, and they have the salary cap room to afford it.
It’s also worth noting that at the moment, Osweiler is the best quarterback the Browns have. They cut Robert Griffin III, and sophomore Cody Kessler is still an unproven player with an average arm.
Will Osweiler be with the Browns at the season’s end? Probably not. They may trade him, they may cut him, and at least for the moment, they may do nothing at all.
Regardless of whether Osweiler further helps the team by bringing in value on the trade market or by actually playing well, it doesn’t really matter. It’s already been a good trade.
GRADE: A- (could improve if Osweiler performs or is traded.)