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Browns make stunning trade for Brock Osweiler

Brock Osweiler went 8-6 in 14 starts for Houston last season.FILE/ERIC CHRISTIAN SMITH/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Cleveland Browns acquired Brock Osweiler and a 2018 second-round pick on Thursday in a stunning trade with the Houston Texans, who were looking for a partner to help them get rid of the QB’s $16 million guaranteed contract.

The deal gives the Browns more assets to perhaps trade for a quarterback such as New England backup Jimmy Garoppolo, and it allows the Texans to clear some salary-cap space to make a run at a starter.

Cleveland and Houston are also swapping 2017 fourth- and sixth-round picks.

The Browns have not yet decided what it will do with Osweiler, and his arrival does not necessarily affect any decisions on Robert Griffin III, who is due a roster bonus this weekend.


Osweiler also provides the Browns with more ammunition to finally get their messy quarterback situation cleaned up. It’s possible they'll try to entice the Patriots to move the 25-year-old Garoppolo.

Cleveland has two first-round picks — Nos. 1 and 12 — and two second-rounders this year, and three second-round picks in 2018.

With nearly $102 million in salary-cap space to start the day, the Browns were in a position to take on Osweiler’s contract and essentially paid $16 million for another high draft pick.

‘‘We’re really excited to acquire a second-round draft choice in this trade,’’ said Sashi Brown, Cleveland’s executive vice president of football operations. ‘‘Draft picks are extremely important to our approach in building a championship-caliber football team. We are intent on adding competition to every position on our roster and look forward to having Brock come in and compete.’’

However, it’s possible the Browns, who now have 11 picks in this year’s draft, will move Osweiler long before he sees a field in Cleveland.

Osweiler went 8-6 in 14 starts for Houston last season. The Texans are in the market to upgrade the position in free agency or through a trade, and there’s a strong chance they’ll take a run at Tony Romo, who is expected to be traded or released by the Cowboys.


In other quarterback news, the Bears closed the book on the Jay Cutler era, an unfulfilling eight-year story that featured only one postseason appearance.

The Bears made cutting Cutler their first official move on Thursday when the NFL free agent market opened, while they were reportedly working toward an agreement to replace him with former Tampa Bay quarterback Mike Glennon.

Cutler’s final year with the Bears ended with a 3-13 record. Thumb and shoulder injuries limited him to five games. There was no guaranteed money left on the contract extension he signed a few days after the 2013 season, making the move to cut the 33-year-old widely expected.

‘‘I appreciate Jay’s professionalism throughout this process and throughout my two years with him here in Chicago,’’ general manager Ryan Pace said. ‘‘I will always appreciate his toughness and respect his accomplishments on the field with the Bears.’’

The Bears paid Cutler roughly $105 million since acquiring him in a trade with Denver before the 2009 season, when they sent the Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton, two first-round picks, and a third-rounder for Cutler and a fifth-round selection. He accumulated more passing yards and TD passes than any other Bears quarterback while picking up many other career club records, including best passer rating and completion percentage.


With Brian Hoyer going to San Francisco and Matt Barkley also an unrestricted free agent, the Bears, who have not drafted a quarterback since Pace was hired after the 2014 season, could now turn to Glennon for their next audition.

Drafted in the third round out of North Carolina State in 2013 by the Buccaneers, Glennon had a decent rookie year with 19 touchdown passes and only nine interceptions over 13 starts. He was benched in favor of veteran Josh McCown in 2014 and ultimately usurped by No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston the following season.

Also, the Steelers Landry Jones to a two-year deal on Thursday that will keep him as the primary backup behind Ben Roethlisberger.

And north of the border, former NFL quarterback Vince Young signed with the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. The 33-year-old agreed to a two-year deal — one year plus an option. He last played in an NFL regular-season game in 2011 with Philadelphia and retired in 2014 after being released by Cleveland.