Brock Osweiler Just Became The Denver Broncos’ Most Important Free Agent

Brock Osweiler went from an apprentice in training to the heir-apparent of the Denver Broncos’ quarterback job with Peyton Manning’s pending retirement.

But several reports are now suggesting that Osweiler lining up under center next year for the Denver Broncos is far from guaranteed now that Peyton Manning has ended his career. In fact, one report suggests that Brock may test the free agent waters to see if he can command a larger payday for his services, Mile High Report indicated Sunday afternoon.

Citing several sources, the Denver Broncos have already tendered a contract offer in the three-year, $45 million range to Brock Osweiler. That’s a significant upgrade for a player that just finished a four-year, $5.5 million contract with an average base around $870,000 annually, especially considering that Brock Osweiler has started only seven times in his NFL career.

Other teams have the ability to offer more money than Denver, however. Among the teams with ample salary cap space to outbid the Broncos and acquire Brock Osweiler are the New York Jets, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams, and the Cleveland Browns.

While those teams can offer Brock more money, they cannot offer him a defense near the caliber of the Broncos. Even if a few pieces leave in free agency, the defense Brock Osweiler would be leaving behind with the Denver Broncos would be somewhat to significantly better than any team’s defense he would inherit.

Defense matters to a quarterback’s success in the NFL. Teams that can hold their opponents to between 10-18 points have won 82.5 percent of their games, ESPN reported. Denver did so on a consistent basis this season and post-season, allowing Manning and his less-potent offense to be game-managers instead of game-changers.

Peyton could attest to this fact for Brock Osweiler. With the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, Manning was 44-1 when his defense held opponents between 10-18 points. From that perspective, Brock Osweiler would be wise to resign with the Broncos.

While Brock Osweiler has not tipped his hand whether he will return to the Denver Broncos or not, the four-year veteran from Arizona State was complementary of the man he could soon replace, according to a TV interview.

“I will be forever grateful for the four seasons that Peyton and I shared together in Denver. Peyton’s attention to detail, how he went about his preparation and his desire to win football games is what I will remember most. Peyton displays how to be the ultimate pro every single day and I am a better football player today because of my time spent with him.”

Mile High Report also indicated that the salary cap issues Denver were facing with Peyton Manning’s $19 million deal on the books is now revealed. Prior to the decision, the Broncos were $2 million over the salary cap limit, and the NFL franchise would have been forced to make difficult decisions this off-season on what talent they could retain.

Now, the Denver Broncos have $16-17 million of salary cap space for 2016, leaving the team with room to make a large offer to Brock Osweiler and retain his services. Signing Brock Osweiler still may mean that Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan – important pieces of the record-setting defense that headline this year’s free agent class – would not be retained in order to keep Osweiler.

The only way the Denver Broncos can keep their team together would be to ask several players – including DeMarcus Ware and Ryan Clady to reduce or restructure their deals, a local NBC affiliate reported. The Miami Dolphins have already done this, restructuring contracts with highly paid defensive players to allow them an opportunity to lure more players to Miami via free agency, the Inquisitr reported.

What do you think about the situation the Denver Broncos now find themselves in with Brock Osweiler after Peyton Manning’s decision to retire? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]