Browns trade for Brock Osweiler, freeing up the Texans to chase Tony Romo

In a stunning deal right before the 2017 NFL league year opened, the Cleveland Browns traded for Brock Osweiler -- yes, FOR him -- securing a second-round pick and the lanky quarterback from the Houston Texans in a deal that is more or less a salary dump, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports.

The news was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, who says the full trade involves the Browns landing Osweiler, a 2018 second-round pick and a 2017 sixth-round pick in exchange for a 2017 fourth-round pick.

The deal frees up the Texans to pursue Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. With Osweiler’s deal off the books, saving Houston $10 million in cap space, the Texans have ample room on their cap to land Romo, and can give the Cowboys something in return (obviously not a second-round pick) to get him.

Such a deal would immediately make the Texans the favorites to win the AFC South.

Houston appeared willing to stand pat at the quarterback position and hope to try and sign Romo as a free agent once he was released by the Cowboys.

But late rumors about the Cowboys trying to trade Romo and recoup some value changed that. The Broncos were in hot pursuit of Romo, and if the Texans wanted him, they had to move fast.

A deal for Osweiler opens up their pocketbooks and allows them to make a push for Romo. 

Osweiler was an abject disaster in 2016 for the Texans, inking a huge deal in free agency that ultimate handicapped Houston’s season thanks to his poor play. He was a turnover machine incapable of properly operating the offense, and had very few bright spots.

The Browns, for their part, can start Osweiler. He won’t be good, but he might actually be an upgrade over the position from 2016. It’s believed Cleveland will move on from Robert Griffin III after acquiring Osweiler, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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