While we wait for the Dallas Cowboys to trade Tony Romo, a veteran reporter said that Romo is expecting to be cut.
ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that a source close to Romo believes he’ll be cut, and Romo believes he can start for two or three more seasons. While the second part is unclear, the first part could change the market for Romo.
One thing is obvious: It’s very hard to see Romo returning to the Cowboys. Dak Prescott had a great rookie season and has a $540,000 salary in 2017. Romo has a $24.7 million cap hit, so that doesn’t make sense for the Cowboys. It doesn’t make sense for Romo to stay in Dallas either, because he made it clear he still wants to be a starter. A trade made sense, but if Romo or his source are correct and he will be cut, that could change things.
A new team wouldn’t have to give up any draft-pick compensation for Romo, which makes him a lot more attractive. While Romo would have had to restructure his deal no matter who he went to, if he’s cut a team can start fresh with a new deal for him. The only drawback for potential suitors if Romo is cut is there will then be a bidding war. And a few teams should be interested, especially at the cost of just a contract.
The Denver Broncos and Houston Texans come to mind, though neither has expressed public interest and there are good reasons both teams would pass. Maybe the Buffalo Bills will need a quarterback if they dump Tyrod Taylor. If no team that is a contender (or even close to contending) wants Romo, plenty of bad teams will presumably need a quarterback, even as a bridge for a rookie draft pick: Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, to name a few. Perhaps another team will emerge as an unexpected suitor. But Romo, who turns 37 in April, will draw interest. And it will be a lot easier for teams to be interested in him if he won’t cost a draft pick in a trade.
One conclusion from Werder’s report – unless Romo or the source close to him is misinformed – is the Cowboys perhaps don’t think they can swing a trade for Romo. It wouldn’t make any sense to cut Romo if you felt you could get anything in return for him. Even if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones likes Romo and wants to do what’s best for him, he’s not turning down a draft pick to be charitable.
Romo’s future is the best story of the offseason, because there’s no obvious conclusion. If he suddenly becomes a free agent, that would add even more intrigue.
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