By Nick Shook
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When one looks back on the Denver Broncos‘ 2015 championship season, they’d be remiss if they didn’t mention the impact Brock Osweiler made while filling in for Peyton Manning.
So it isn’t surprising that Osweiler wasn’t pleased with being relegated to the sideline in Week 17 against San Diego. After keeping the ship afloat — and really, sailing — in Manning’s absence, a stagnant stretch sent Osweiler back to the bench. It led to Manning taking over for one last title run and storybook ride into the sunset.
It’s understandable if Osweiler might have felt taken for granted, even with a heavy ring on his finger. His decision to take the money and run to Houston said enough. Broncos general manager John Elway took another step closer to solidifying that notion.
“I can understand that he didn’t want to sit down and have Peyton come back in that San Diego game, but it wasn’t the fact that Brock was playing bad,” Elway said, via the Denver Post. “We needed a change of something. So I was a little surprised just how he seemed to be a little bent out of shape about that.
“But he had an opportunity to make a tremendous amount of money in Houston, and for us, it just didn’t fit.”
Denver had plenty of other places to direct its money — most notably, Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller — so not breaking the bank on a quarterback who had started just seven games makes sense. And for Houston, a team that felt it was a quarterback away from title contention, luring him away with big dollars might end up being a savvy move. But it did torpedo Elway’s succession plan.
“That’s why you can never lock into one solution,” Elway said. “You always have to have several options and go with what’s best. I haven’t talked to Brock about it. I’ve only kind of heard about it, of why he may have been a little bit upset about the way things went.”
While Osweiler familiarizes himself with DeAndre Hopkins and Co. in Texas, Elway has since scrambled to fill the depth chart, and done a decent job, acquiring Mark Sanchez and drafting Paxton Lynch to join Trevor Siemian in the quarterback room. And if we were curious whether Osweiler is above responding to his former employer, well:
The ramifications of benching Osweiler are both known and unknown. In the short term, it led Denver to a ring. The long term is yet to be determined.