David J. Phillip/Associated Press
Deal: Four years, $72 million, $37 million guaranteed, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network.
Unsatisfied with Brian Hoyer after his nightmare collapse in the AFC Wild Card Round, the Texans got aggressive at quarterback and made the biggest gamble of the offseason to date.
Houston surprised everyone, snagging quarterback Brock Osweiler from the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. In the process, general manager Rick Smith and head coach Bill O'Brien tied their respective futures to Osweiler, who has made all of seven NFL starts.
He showed flashes of greatness for the Broncos in 2015, including late in Denver's come-from-behind win over the New England Patriots. But he also couldn't keep a struggling, injured Peyton Manning on the bench, and his 86.4 passer rating ranked tied for 25th in the NFL.
According to Cian Fahey of Football Outsiders, Osweiler ranked 27th in interceptable pass rate and 22nd in accuracy percentage. He wasn't careful with the football (despite only six interceptions) or particularly consistent in throwing accurately, two important factors for playing well at any level.
Only 25, Osweiler has growth potential, especially under a coach like O'Brien. It's easy to see why the Texans pulled the trigger on the $72 million deal, even with his lack of experience. Finding a quarterback is the hardest task in the game, and the Texans are a good quarterback away from being serious contenders.
Still, signing Osweiler is far and away the biggest risk of free agency. If he fails, he could take the whole hierarchy of decision-makers in Houston down with him. Like it or not, the Texans are approaching a crossroads as a franchise.