Moving forward with Brock Osweiler at quarterback in 2017 would not be an inspiring choice from head coach Bill O'Brien and the team's personnel staff. That may be why O'Brien sidestepped questions about the future of his signal caller on clean out day Monday.
He was asked specifically if Houston would be looking to draft a quarterback this spring.
"We're so far from answering that question," O'Brien told reporters. "Right now, we sit down and evaluate our team and everything we do ...it's not even a question that I can begin to answer."
What about an open competition between Osweiler and the man he was benched for late in 2016, Tom Savage?
"We're going to evaluate everything. We're going to do the best we can to field a good, competitive team, a better team, a more consistent team than we did this year."
By now, everyone is familiar with Houston's conundrum. A defense capable of beating the Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs, dragged down by an offense that is far behind but loaded with playmakers. While Osweiler played well at times on Saturday and fell victim to some receiver drops, he did not play well enough this season to fend off Savage for 16 games. His style and mechanics do not seem to lend itself to what O'Brien is building.
The obvious answer is the veteran market. Tony Romo could be the best quarterback available this offseason depending on what Dallas decides to do. On Sunday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that their No. 1 priority this offseason was dealing the Pro Bowler now that Dak Prescott is entrenched as the team's starter.
But there are many teams sharing Houston's problem. There is a shortage of good quarterbacks in the NFL and an even more significant shortage of veteran quarterbacks who become available during the offseason. Drafting one puts O'Brien in a similar pickle, rapidly trying to develop a young player to capitalize on their window. That defense will eventually become too expensive to hold together, with A.J. Bouye already approaching free agency.
At the least, no team wants to be in the position where they have to dance around quarterback questions at the end of the season. Putting that much thought toward the most important position means less time putting together the rest of the puzzle.