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Retain, Tag, or Walk? - Brock Osweiler

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A look at Miami Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler ahead of free agency.

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The NFL calendar continues to march forward, with the Pro Bowl taking place tomorrow and the Super Bowl on the horizon. That also means free agency - which begins on March 13 - is inching closer as well. Teams are in the midst of an evolution period, trying to decide what direction they want to take in free agency and the NFL Draft for the 2019 league year. Part of those discussions include the fate of the soon-to-be free agents for each team.

Our esteemed managing editor Kevin Nogle and I have been putting together our annual “Retain, Tag, or Walk” series of articles, given you a closer look at Miami Dolphins players with expiring contracts and giving you a chance to vote on what you would do with that player. Today, we take a look at enigmatic quarterback Brock Osweiler.

Thus far, we’ve completed reviews of Frank Gore, Travis Swanson, MarQueis Gray, William Hayes, and Brandon Bolden. To find those, and other Miami Dolphins free agency news, click here.

Fact Check

Position: QB

Age: 28

Experience: Entering 8th season

Height/Weight: 6’7”, 240lbs

College: Arizona State

Expiring Contract: 1-year, $880,000

2018 Review

The Dolphins brought Osweiler on board last offseaon to compete for the backup job behind Ryan Tannehill. During training camp and the offseason, Osweiler managed to beat out David Fales for the second spot on the depth chart, and due to a shoulder injury sustained by Tannehill, Osweiler was called upon to play significant time during the course of the regular season.

Following Miami’s loss to Cincinnati in Week 5, Tannehill was diagnosed with a capsule injury in his throwing shoulder that would sideline him for several weeks. Osweiler was forced into action against one of the best defenses in the NFL the very next Sunday in a home contest against the Chicago Bears. The gangly backup performed admirably, completing 28 of 44 pass attempts for 380 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 94.9 passer rating and lead Miami to victory.

Osweiler went on to start in four more games, but a combination of poor awareness on the part of the quarterback, horrid offensive line play, and questionable play calling limited his success as he complied a 1-3 record. The losses came at the hands of the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Green Bay Packers, with the win taking place at Hard Rock Stadium over the New York Jets.

2019 Outlook

Osweiler proved this season that he can be a capable backup quarterback in the NFL for years to come. He’s nowhere near franchise quarterback material, nor do I think he’s going to lead any team to the postseason as a starter, but a passer that can be ready in a pinch and win a few games is valuable in today’s league. I believe Osweiler’s performance over his five-game stretch as a starter will earn him a look from numerous teams this offseason as a second-string option, albeit an unexciting one.

Verdict

Despite the fact that Osweiler should be a backup quarterback somewhere in the NFL, I do not believe Miami will be that place. The former Denver Bronco was brought in likely because of the connection he already had with former Dolphins head coach Adam Gase. With Gase now in New York, there is little reason to believe anyone in Miami will implore Chris Grier to keep the veteran around.

The last thing Miami needs is a known commodity with a very limited ceiling and no star potential in the quarterback room. The Dolphins are rebuilding, which means young, high-potential players should be taking meaningful snaps in practice and on game day. With youngsters Jake Rudock and Luke Falk under contract, and with Miami sure to bring another quarterback in via the NFL Draft in April, I don’t see room for Osweiler on the roster.

My vote: Let walk

Poll

Should the Dolphins retain Brock Osweiler or allow him to walk in free agency?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Retain
    (190 votes)
  • 90%
    Let walk
    (1806 votes)
1996 votes total Vote Now

I did not include the tag option for Osweiler because there is no realistic reason to use the franchise tag on him.