John Elway: Broncos will welcome Brock Osweiler 'with open arms'


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- With backup quarterback Paxton Lynch expected to miss at least the first month of the regular season, the Denver Broncos quickly turned to a familiar face Saturday, signing Brock Osweiler to a one-year deal.

Osweiler, who spent his first four years in the league with the Broncos, was released by the Cleveland Browns earlier this week. The Broncos will pay Osweiler the veterans' minimum of $775,000.

"I think with the opportunity we had to get Brock back, we're excited about that opportunity to have that experience there with Brock,'' said Broncos president of football operations/general manager John Elway. "Plus with Paxton, you never know with the throwing shoulder.''

The Browns, who owed Osweiler $16 million after his release, will now pay him $15.225 million. Osweiler's deal with the Broncos is pending a physical on Monday.

The Broncos were searching for a backup with knowledge of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy's playbook. Osweiler, who played for McCoy in 2012 when McCoy was in the last year of his previous stint in Denver, is viewed as a backup quarterback, with Trevor Siemian as the starter.

Elway said he believed the Broncos will have the player who helped the Broncos go 5-2 in the starts Peyton Manning missed with an injured foot in 2015 -- and not the player who often struggled in his time with the Houston Texans and Browns.

"I'm sure it's been a tough one for him," Elway said. "I know we thought a lot of Brock. He went 5-2 as a starter for us, and without Brock that year, we don't win a Super Bowl.

"I'm sure it's been a long 18 months for him. He's been through a lot, I'm sure. ... He's going to need a little football rehab, we know that. We'll welcome him with open arms and give him some love."

Elway said the Broncos had an eye on Osweiler almost from the moment the Browns released him. The Broncos' key concern is Lynch's recovery.

Lynch suffered a right shoulder injury in Denver's preseason win over the Green Bay Packers, a game in which?he was involved in?just eight plays. The injury is expected to keep Lynch out for at least four weeks of the regular season, and it could be longer because the injury is to his throwing shoulder.

"He'll be the backup until Paxton gets healthy. That's not going to change," Elway said.

Asked whether the Broncos would keep Osweiler on the roster after Lynch is ready to return to practice and be Siemian's backup in games, Elway said: "We'll cross that bridge when we get there."

Osweiler was a second-round pick by the Broncos in 2012, the same year the team signed Manning in free agency. Osweiler spent four seasons as Manning's backup and didn't make a start until 2015.

Manning replaced Osweiler in the regular-season finale in 2015 and led the Broncos to a comeback win over the Chargers. Manning then started all three of the Broncos' postseason games, including their victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

The move left some hard feelings among some in Osweiler's support group, though the Broncos were prepared to sign him to one of the bigger offers he received in free agency that offseason. However, the Broncos' offer wasn't nearly as big as that of the Texans, who signed Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million deal.

Asked about whether those hard feelings would be an issue that needed to be addressed in Osweiler's return, Elway said simply: "That's not true.''