ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Quarterback Brock Osweiler returned to the Broncos on Monday, signing a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum of $775,000 to back up Trevor Siemian.
Osweiler spent his first four seasons with the Broncos after being drafted in the second round in 2012. He was the backup to Peyton Manning, but started seven games in 2015.
He was yanked at halftime of the regular-season finale and replaced by Manning, who engineered a comeback against the San Diego Chargers that secured home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs.
Then-coach Gary Kubiak stayed with Manning in the playoffs that culminated in a Super Bowl 50 win over the Carolina Panthers.
One month later, Osweiler spurned the Broncos and signed a four-year, $72 million deal with the Houston Texans as an unrestricted free agent.
He flopped with the Texans, throwing 16 interceptions and getting benched in the final game of the season, but returned to lead a playoff win over the Oakland Raiders.
He was traded in the offseason to the Cleveland Browns, who cut him over the weekend after deciding to go with DeShone Kizer as the starter.
“When we look at it, he knows our system. He was here with (offensive coordinator) Mike (McCoy), and knows the system,” Broncos general manager John Elway said Saturday.
“He’ll adapt that with the experience that he has. … Trevor is our starter. We want him to be that starter. We have confidence in that, and feel like if something were to happen that Brock has the experience. We’ve got some people around him that will be able to help. He fits the system.”
Osweiler passed a physical on Monday morning and will practice with the team later in the day as it prepares for the season opener on Sept. 11 at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Osweiler will be the back up to Siemian as Paxton Lynch, the 2016 first-round draft pick, recovers from a sprained shoulder.
The team announced outside linebacker Shane Ray, who is recovering from wrist surgery, was placed on injured reserve to clear a roster spot for Siemain.