Houston Texans (9-7; 1st in AFC South)
Brock Osweiler – Where do we even begin? After an abysmal season in which Osweiler barely managed to look competent in even routine situations, Houston will likely look elsewhere at the quarterback position for 2017 and beyond. Unfortunately, from a salary cap perspective, the Texans have no option but to actually keep Osweiler on their roster for the upcoming season. Brock Osweiler’s contract for 2016 and 2017 was essentially a fully guaranteed $37 million, with an additional $16M in base salary and a $3M roster bonus guaranteed in 2017. This leaves Houston with $19M in dead money on the line in 2017 on just one contract, rendering Osweiler all but stuck on Houston’s roster. No team is going to pick up Osweiler’s exorbitant salary. While Osweiler’s guaranteed salary is wholly atrocious from a roster construction stand-point—11% of Houston’s overall cap is tied up in Osweiler’s contract alone—the Texans still have to bring in outside help to compete with Osweiler and Tom Savage in camp. After Osweiler finished his first full season as a starter third-from-last in touchdown percentage and second-from-last in adjusted yards per attempt (only Jared Goff was worse), Houston has no other option but to swallow Osweiler’s price tag and try to move on in 2017 before they fully cut the cord in 2018. Unless Houston can find an extremely creative way to restructure Osweiler’s guarantees in 2017, they are on the hook for one of the worst NFL contracts of all-time.
Tom Savage – Well, the one glaring upside here for the Texans is that Savage’s contract looks like chump change compared to Brock Osweiler’s deal. Savage will be on the last leg of his rookie deal in 2017 before he is an unrestricted free agent in 2018. Luckily for him, Tom Savage should have an opportunity to compete for the Texans’ starting job in 2017. Brock Osweiler face-planted in his first full season as a starter and was benched in favor of Savage in the final month of the season. Unluckily for Savage, however, he suffered a concussion in Week 17 against Tennessee and did not start in either of the Texans’ two playoff games versus Oakland and New England. While Savage averaged 7.2 and 6.1 adjusted yards per attempt in his two full starts, Osweiler managed just 5.0 adjusted yards per attempt on his 510 attempts in 2016. Of course Savage gets the benefit of a small sample, but his short-term numbers and short-term tape is undoubtedly better than Osweiler’s product. Look for Houston to give Savage an opportunity to compete for ...