Browns get creative with cap space in Brock Osweiler trade

The Cleveland Browns sent the NFL world fluttering for a brief moment on Thursday when it was announced they were acquiring quarterback Brock Osweiler in a trade with Houston.

Just as quickly as the noise started, it quieted — because the Browns true intentions quickly became known. They were given a second-round pick to accept the $16 million in guaranteed money Osweiler is due.

For the Browns, this was about getting that second-round pick, their third, in the 2018 draft.

It was a smart way to use the salary cap space, a smart way to get a second-round pick and a good way to stockpile more picks to build a roster that needs as many players as it can find.

Terms: Only one matters here — Osweiler is due $16 million in guaranteed salary this season.

Grade: A. A team with more than $100 million in cap room can afford to absorb $16 million. It's not consequential, but it is manageable. The trade essentially is draft picks. Houston gave up a second-round pick in 2018 and a sixth-round pick in 2017 for Cleveland's 2017 fourth-round pick, the 142nd overall. That's a win for the Browns — and they can make it better if they can somehow trade Osweiler for yet another draft pick, even if they have to agree to pay part of Osweiler's salary.

What it means: The Browns are loaded in draft picks the next two years. Adding a third second-round pick in 2018 means the Browns will have 10 picks in the first and second rounds in the drafts in 2016, '17 and 18. They have to get them right, but that should position a building team well.

What's the risk: Hard to see any. Osweiler isn't the Browns' long-term answer, so he will probably be elsewhere in 2017, although VP of football operations Sashi Brown said Osweiler will be given the chance to compete. The draft picks can be used to select more players, or to make a trade, which the Browns did when they acquired linebacker Jamie Collins. There isn't a team in the league that would turn down second- and sixth-round picks for a fourth-round choice.