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Osweiler leaves Broncos to sign deal with Texans

AP

The Houston Texans have filled their biggest need, starting free agency with a splash by snagging Brock Osweiler from Denver.

The quarterback arrived in Houston on Wednesday night after agreeing to a four-year contract reportedly worth $72 million and will be introduced in Houston on Thursday.

The Broncos hoped to keep Osweiler in the wake of Peyton Manning’s retirement on Monday.

Instead he’s joining the Texans, who were looking to upgrade the position after Brian Hoyer’s struggles last season, particularly his turnover-filled performance in their wild-card playoff loss to Kansas City.

Osweiler talked about leaving the Broncos.

“It was very difficult,” he said. “I would be lying to you if I said anything else. I had a tremendous four seasons there in Denver and those are four years that I’ll always hold close to my heart. But bottom line coming to Houston was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

The Texans also made other upgrades to their offense on Wednesday, agreeing to deals with running back Lamar Miller and offensive linemen Jeff Allen and Tony Bergstrom. Houston needed a running back after releasing franchise rushing leader Arian Foster last week.

Osweiler appeared in eight games with seven starts last season for the Super Bowl champion Broncos. He threw for a career-high 1,967 yards and 10 touchdowns with six interceptions last season.

He started the last seven games of the regular season, but was benched in favor of Manning for the postseason. The 201-cm, 110-kg player spent the first four years of his career with the Broncos after being drafted in the second round in 2012 out of Arizona State.

Broncos general manager John Elway told the team’s website after Osweiler agreed to terms with the Texans that they stayed true to their philosophy of building a team with players who want to be there.

“While we did offer a very competitive and fair long-term contract to Brock, we ultimately had to remain disciplined while continuing to assemble a roster that can compete for championships,” Elway said.

Osweiler threw for a career-high 1,967 yards and 10 touchdowns with six interceptions last season.

Giants land trio

East Rutherford New Jersey AP

Moments after former Miami pass rusher Olivier Vernon agreed to terms on a five-year, $85 million contract Wednesday, Giants general manager Jerry Reese might have echoed the defensive end’s agent David Canter when he tweeted “What a day.”

Given one last opportunity by Giants co-owner John Mara to bulk up a roster that had not made the playoffs in four years, Reese made a huge splash on the first day of NFL free agency. New York agreed to terms with Vernon, former Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and former Jets defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison.

Combined with their own defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul signing his one-year, $10.5 million contract shortly after Wednesday’s 4 p.m. start time, Reese will have addressed immediately major weaknesses in the defensive front and the secondary.