NFL

Report: Tom Savage To Start Sunday For Texans

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The Houston Texans made a move at quarterback in the second quarter of Sunday’s game as they put starter Brock Osweiler on the bench and replaced him with third-year pro Tom Savage.

The result was no turnovers for Savage and a come-from-behind 21-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

After the game, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien claimed that he hadn’t made a decision on next week’s starter as his first-place squad takes on the Cincinnati Bengals.

“We don’t make decisions on how much a guy gets paid. We make decisions on what’s the best way to win a game,” O’Brien said.

Apparently, O’Brien is putting his owner’s money where his mouth is and he named Savage the starter for this week’s game.

The move to Savage shouldn’t surprise anyone as Osweiler had been playing terrible football all year long.  Once a starter is benched and the team rallied for a victory, there’s simply only one move that can be made. Especially when it’s a player like Osweiler who has a thin body of work.

The other 51 players on the roster know who the better choice is and when you’re in a division title race, you have to play the better guy.

O’Brien is no stranger to quarterback controversies and playing the wrong guy.  Last season he insisted on starting Ryan Mallett while Brian Hoyer outperformed him through the preseason and regular season.  Finally, O’Brien acquiesced to Hoyer, and the team won the AFC South.

Who is Tom Savage?

Savage is a former fourth-round pick from Pittsburgh who is a pure pocket passer.  He doesn’t have a ton of upside and he really didn’t play all that well in his limited chances up until this past week.

That doesn’t mean he can’t get better.

Savage played solid football against a very good Jaguars defense and looked like a significant upgrade over Osweiler.

These next few games will likely determine Savage’s future as a starter.  The team has a large financial investment in Osweiler, so cutting him in the offseason will be costly.  If the team were to part ways with their biggest free agent mistake, they would have a $25 million dead money charge.

It appears that unless Savage is completely awful, the team will try to make things work with him and have Osweiler as the backup.  With Savage due to earn only $690,000 next season, the Texans could justify his money along with Osweiler’s $16 million, and still have a pretty good cap situation. Letting Oz go after the 2017 season would only cost Houston $6 million in dead money.

The worst thing an organization can do isn’t making a free agent mistake, it’s not admitting they made the mistake.  The Texans have at least admitted to a certain extent that they made an error with Osweiler.  Now they’re correcting it.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.