The Houston Texans traded quarterback Brock Osweiler on Thursday in a stunning move that could open a starting spot and salary cap space for Tony Romo.
The Cleveland Browns acquired Osweiler, a 2018 second-round draft pick and a 2017 sixth-round pick from the Texans, a person familiar with the move told USA TODAY Sports' Tom Pelissero. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because terms of the deal had not been announced.
The Texans will receive the Browns' 2017 fourth-round pick.
For the Browns, the trade was about acquiring the Texans' second-round pick in 2018, the person said. With surplus cap space, the Browns could afford to eat Osweiler's $16 million salary for 2017 even if he doesn't play. They also could try to turn around and deal Osweiler again or even release him outright.
A person familiar with the move said the team had no immediate plan for Osweiler but would explore its trade options.
“We’re really excited to acquire a second round draft choice in this trade,” executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said in a release. “Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship caliber football team. We are intent on adding competition to every position on our roster and look forward to having Brock come in and compete.”
For the Texans, they save $16 million in cash on a player who lost his starting job last season and seemed an ill fit for the system. They also clear $10 million in space off this year's salary cap.
“We are committed to bringing a championship to the city of Houston,” Texans general manager Rick Smith said in a release. “We are exhaustive in our efforts and the resources provided by the McNair family allow us to operate that way. We continuously evaluate our decisions and processes to ensure the results match our goals and objectives. The decision to trade Brock was made because it was in the best interest of the team. It frees up both cash and salary cap room to continue to improve our football team. We appreciate Brock’s effort and leadership while he was with us and we wish him and his family well."
Osweiler threw for 2,957 yards, 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in a turbulent first season with the Texans after signing a four-year, $72 million contract last year.