Tony Romo‘s days are numbered in Dallas with the emergence of Dak Prescott, and it appears the 37-year-old quarterback has made that realization as well.
According to Ed Werder ESPN, league sources say that Romo is expecting to be released by the Cowboys prior to start of the league’s new year on March 9, the opening of NFL free agency. Romo also believes he can play 2-3 years despite his age and injury history.
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 (@WerderEdESPN) February 16, 2017
Two weeks ago, Jason La Confora of CBS Sports reported that Romo has agreed to be traded to four destinations if the Cowboys decide to trade him and receive more value back rather than just cut him for nothing. Those four teams are the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, and Arizona Cardinals, four places where Romo would likely receive the starting job with little competition.
Kansas City has Alex Smith at quarterback currently, but they likely will never reach their full potential as an offense with Smith calling the shots. The Cardinals have Carson Palmer, but he, just like Romo, is nearing the end of his NFL career. Arizona wants to have a quarterback ready to replace Palmer down the line, which is why they will likely to turn to the draft for that.
The Texans and the Broncos are also two very interesting cases for Romo. It’s clear that year one of the Brock Osweiler era in Houston didn’t go as plan, leaving Texans owner Bob McNair once again frustrated with the quarterback play. Romo would almost certainly take over for Osweiler right away and send Tom Savage to a third string role, but that likely won’t happen unless the Texans find away to deal with Osweiler’s contract better.
Trevor Siemian was invited to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl, but respectfully declined due to injury. It is also unclear where the Broncos want to do with the quarterback position next year, but it appears Paxton Lynch will be given the starting job under new head coach Vance Joseph. Adding Romo into the mix in Denver would make the Broncos path to the Super Bowl less cloudy.
Many have also speculated on the New York Jets adding Romo, after receiving poor play from Ryan Fitzpatrick on a one-year deal after a great 2015 season with the team. The Jets also have a lot to sort out on their roster at quarterback right now, as they need to evaluate Geno Smith, Bryce Petty, and Christian Hackenberg to see how they fit into the team’s future plans.
One thing is clear: Romo has plenty of options, and will be starting for another team in 2017. Whether he remains to stay healthy or not is the question, but it is not risky to bring in Romo as long as you are confident in the guys behind him if he does go down again.
Cutting Romo would free up a $24.7 million cap hit that is currently hampering the Cowboys needed to improve the team on the defensive side, with Jerry Jones understanding the need for a pass rusher. Releasing Romo would also eliminate 2018 and 2019 from the Cowboys payroll.
For his career, Romo has a passer rating of 97.1 with 34,183 passing yards and 248 touchdowns.
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