The 2017 NFL Draft, which will be held in Philadelphia from April 27 to April 29, is now less than three months away, but the biggest offseason move surrounding the Dallas Cowboys could be their decision regarding veteran quarterback Tony Romo. At 36-years-old, Romo’s best days are likely behind him, but he still has the potential to help an already established team. While Romo has been involved in numerous trade discussions and scenarios over the past few months, the latest rumors state that he is likely to be released.
According to Ed Werder of ESPN, trading Romo is unlikely. While the Cowboys would love to get something in return for their veteran quarterback, his age, injury history, and contract make it next to impossible.
“Romo’s contract makes him difficult to trade. He signed a six-year, $119.5 million deal in 2013 that at the time was just the 15th deal worth $100 million or more in NFL history; he is scheduled to make $14 million in 2017, and $40 million more over 2018 and 2019. Designating Romo as a post-June 1 release would cost the Cowboys only $10.7 million of their 2017 cap by allowing them to roll $8.9 million of Romo’s dead money over into 2018. If the Cowboys release him before June 1, though, it would cost them $19.6 million in cap space in 2017 alone.”
Additionally, Werder also recently tweeted that Romo is expecting to be released.
Source says Tony Romo expecting release, not trade, and believes he can start as #NFL QB 2-3 more seasons despite turning 37, injury history— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) February 16, 2017
While there is not a team that is likely to trade for Romo, there will be interest in him after the Cowboys ultimately release him. ESPN notes the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills are probably going to have quarterback vacancies, but Romo is not looking to join a rebuilding team at this point in his career.
Most teams that are likely to contend next season already have established quarterbacks, but the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, and Houston Texans are all potential destinations for Romo.
Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian was impressive early, but he is unlikely to be the team’s long-term option. Former first-round pick Paxton Lynch is another option for the Broncos, but he still may not be ready to become the starting quarterback next season. With a solid defense, Romo could join a team that has intriguing offensive weapons in wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. In addition to Thomas and Sanders, running back C.J. Anderson is expected to be back healthy for the 2017 season.
While the Chiefs finished with a record of 12-4, quarterback Alex Smith is just not that good. He is competent as a game manager, but he is probably not going to lead the Chiefs to a championship. Texans’ quarterback Brock Osweiler proved to be average at best last season, and inserting Romo into the offense would likely lead to improvements.
As New England Sports Network reports, Romo has only played in five games over the past two seasons. Much of his missed time was because of various injuries, but he ultimately lost his starting job to impressive rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. While many believed that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would go back to Romo after Prescott’s first bad game, it never happened. Prescott still has a lot to learn, but he is the future of the Dallas Cowboys, and having Romo on the roster next season would only create unnecessary distractions.
Step One is happening in the Tony Romo/Jerry Jones wink-nod that ends in Romo being released https://t.co/u9RnH38Qec— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 16, 2017
If the Cowboys do pull the trigger and release Romo, it would be in their best interest to do it after June 1, as Fox Sports notes.
“If Romo were to be released as a pre-June 1 cut, the Cowboys would incur $19.6 million in dead cap while saving just $5.1 million, again per overthecap.com. Meanwhile, if Dallas waits and makes him a post-June 1 cut, then the team would save $14 million, though they’d still take on $10.7 million in dead cap.”
With the NFL Draft and free agency on the horizon, rumors will continue to surround Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. While there is still a slight possibility that he could be traded, all signs point to the Cowboys releasing him at some point over the next few months.
[Featured Image by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]