After winning their 11th consecutive game on Thursday Night Football in dramatic fashion, the question looms even larger whether or not Tony Romo will be wearing a star on his helmet next season. After getting “Drew Bledsoe’d” in losing his starting job to rookie Dak Prescott while he was out with injury, Romo’s services in the Lone Star state are no longer needed – unless the Cowboys wish to pay their backup QB upwards of $18M. Prescott has stole the show while getting his name in the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation and even MVP talks while most importantly solidifying his role as the Cowboys’ QB of the future.
While Romo has put up fantastic numbers throughout his illustrious career, it was his dealing with the media that jumped out even more. Romo showed no selfishness whatsoever, and instead is making strides in helping Prescott along with his development. This is the type of player coaches want on their team – especially leading from under center.
It’s almost guaranteed that the Cowboys unload Romo this offseason whether it comes via trade or an outright release. There have been mild rumblings citing possible teams that he will suit up for in 2017, however, there hasn’t been that one team that has jumped out above the rest. Below I dive a little deeper within each team that can possible make a move for the all-time leading passer in Cowboys history.
With Jay Cutler almost guaranteed to be out of Chicago by the offseason, the Bears will have a huge hole under center. To make matters worse, they don’t even have a young QB waiting in the wings that they’ve been grooming for the past couple seasons. Chicago will be sitting high atop the 2017 NFL Draft; and even if they opt to take a QB, there’s no one in this year’s class that should start from day one.
Romo is an Illinois kid and I think he would be fond of the idea of returning back home. The Bears will be desperate for a signal caller to start for the 2017 season – and I think Chicago is Romo’s most likely landing spot.
The Browns are the worst team in the NFL and are the only team left winless heading into week 13. Winning all starts at the QB position. I figure Romo will be cited towards the Browns just based on their need at QB. However, they already brought in injury prone QB Robert Griffin III last offseason – I just don’t see them making the same mistake twice.
Cleveland holds two 1st round selections in the upcoming draft – one of which they very well could use on a QB. For a young team that’s in all-out rebuilding mode, a veteran QB just doesn’t fit into their long-terms plans. Also, Cody Kessler has shown flashes this year as a rookie as well.
The Broncos have one of the best defenses in the league, that’s no question. However, their offense has been a bit inconsistent this season and has sputtered at times behind first year starting QB Trevor Siemian. John Elway wants to win, and he’ll do anything to get there no matter the cost – even if that means bringing in a guy like Romo to upgrade the QB position.
Even with 2016 1st round pick Paxton Lynch waiting in the wings, I could see Elway being aggressive in going after Romo. Romo would provide an instant upgrade and could have the Broncos offense hovering inside the top 10. This would allow Lynch to sit and develop for another year while the Broncos remain relevant as one of the AFC’s premier teams. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Elway pursued Tony Romo this upcoming offseason. Romo would just look natural sporting a Broncos uniform in my mind.
The prized free agent acquisition of last Spring’s free agency period looked like Brock Osweiler who signed a huge $72M deal with Houston after winning a Super Bowl ring in Denver. Osweiler, however, has not lived up to his contract, to say the least. The mammoth under center has been a downright disappointment and has been among the worst starting QBs in the NFL.
It’s an intriguing thought to imagine Romo staying in-state, but instead playing for the Houston Texans. The team needs change under center, but they just have too much invested at the position already. While Bill O’Brien may prefer to install a veteran like Romo into his offense, they would need to make cuts elsewhere to provide necessary cap space – something that is just not worth it.
While we’re on the subject of disappointing signal callers, Blake Bortles has seen monumental regression after a breakout 2015 season. With Gus Bradley sitting on a scorching hot seat, the Jaguars will likely see a landscape change amongst the coaching staff. A new head coach typically means a change under center as coaches prefer to go with “their guy”.
Even if Bortles isn’t the guy for the Jaguars next season and they opt to draft a QB early come April, they would still need an established veteran to provide stability at the position and even help groom their QB of the future – Romo very well could be that guy.
New York Jets
This past offseason the New York Jets dealt with the Ryan Fitzpatrick saga as it took months to lock up their signal caller. The two sides were finally able to come to an agreement on a $12M deal. To put it lightly, Fitzpatrick hasn’t lived up to that money as the Jets have crashed to a 3-8 record through 12 weeks after winning 10 wins last season.
The Big Apple is no stranger to making a splash in signing established veteran free agents – even at the QB position as the team brought in Brett Favre prior to his retirement. The Jets have a decently built roster and can still compete in the AFC East – especially if they put together a good offseason. Romo would fit right in and improve a Jets offense that has been poor this season. It’s clear that Fitzpatrick nor 2nd round pick Christian Hackenberg are the answers, so why not bring in Romo as a stopgap and see what he has left in the tank?
San Francisco 49ers
With Colin Kaepernick set to hit the free agent market and the 49ers with no plans to re-sign him, that leaves a void at the QB position. No, Blaine Gabbert isn’t the answer as he proved this season resulting in a benching. Romo to San Francisco is intriguing, especially considering that Chip Kelly is the coach there.
Kelly coached against Romo frequently during his 3 seasons in Philadelphia. Many call for more of an athletic QB to fit Kelly’s scheme, but that wasn’t the case when Nick Foles had a career year back in 2013. Also remember, Kelly is the same guy who went out and traded for Sam Bradford. Romo would provide a much needed spark to San Francisco’s offense, and I could see Kelly making a splash and possibly bringing him in.