ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — With backup quarterback Paxton Lynch expected to miss at least the first month of the regular season, the Denver Broncos quickly, and happily, 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 looked upon as a backup quarterback, with Trevor Siemian as the starter.
Elway said he believed the Broncos could 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 the 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’ issue is Lynch’s recovery.
Lynch suffered a right shoulder injury in Denver’s preseason win over the Green Bay Packers; Lynch played just eight plays in the game. The injury is expected to keep Lynch out 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 if 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…