Jan 1, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) warms up before action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
If the Dallas Cowboys release Tony Romo, these 10 quarterbacks could end up losing their starting jobs for the 2017 season if their teams sign the veteran.
After 13 seasons, all signs point to the Dallas Cowboys eventually releasing Tony Romo since the chances of another team agreeing to a trade with the veteran quarterback seem highly unlikely at this point. Thanks to the emergence of Dak Prescott successfully running the offense as a rookie that included an NFC East title along with the Cowboys earning the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, Romo realizes his only chance of being a starter at this point in his career is with another team.
On the bright side, the good news for Romo is, if he is released by Dallas, there will be a handful of teams jumping at the opportunity to bring on the veteran for the 2017 season. For a quarterback that has received plenty of criticism for his inability to stay healthy, Romo’s brief performance in Week 17 this past season against the Philadelphia Eagles was the perfect example of how anxious he is to have an opportunity to prove himself as a starter.
Of course, the question now becomes which contenders would be willing to take a chance on a quarterback like Romo to be their starter heading into next year, especially when it comes to teams that are already invested in their current starters. When looking at the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos, the argument can be made that both teams are already strong contenders heading into 2017, but would be even better with a quarterback like Romo under center.
Starting off with Bryce Petty of the New York Jets, here’s a look at 10 NFL quarterbacks that could end up losing their starting jobs if the Cowboys do end up releasing Romo at some point over the next few weeks.
Dec 17, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) looks to pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
10. Bryce Petty – New York Jets
First off, it should be noted that Bryce Petty hasn’t been named the official starter for the New York Jets heading into the 2017 season, and he’s simply just one of the team’s options at this point. With Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith most likely hitting free agency, the Jets may have to settle for Petty if they don’t consider selecting a quarterback in the upcoming draft.
Petty certainly showed potential at times in the six games he appeared in for New York last year, but it’s obvious he still needs a few years to develop. Not to mention there’s not even a guarantee that Petty has what it takes to be a successful starter in the NFL, which means the Jets need to do what’s best for the team at the moment.
New York may not be the most desirable option for Tony Romo, but if he truly wanted to be a starter at his age, this may end up being one of his best options. Keep in mind how close the Jets were to making the playoffs during the 2015 season, and despite their struggles from this year, Romo needs to consider the potential of playing with a dynamic duo in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.
The Buffalo Bills have plenty of big decisions to make in the offseason, but nothing bigger than what to do with Tyrod Taylor. Even though the Bills rewarded their quarterback with a hefty extension last August, the good news is the team structured the deal in a way where they wouldn’t be losing any money by releasing Taylor before March 11.
Taylor winning the starting job in Buffalo was one of the biggest surprises heading into the 2015 season, and even though he’s put together some impressive performances over the last two years, it’s tough to determine if he’s the right answer at quarterback. The 12 interceptions over the last two seasons are impressive, but when comparing the amount of money Taylor would be making over the next few years to his lack of explosiveness on offense, it’s easy to understand why the Bills have their doubts.
Every team in the AFC East knows the best way to win the division is figuring out a way to defeat the New England Patriots with a reliable quarterback. When comparing Taylor to Tony Romo, it’s not even a debate when seeing the level of success he’s had throughout his career with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Minnesota Vikings made a bold move last September when they decided a first-round pick would be worth giving up to acquire Sam Bradford from the Philadelphia Eagles. Losing Teddy Bridgewater was a major setback when he went down in the preseason, and while Bradford seemed like the answer at the time, it still doesn’t takeaway from how the Vikings fell short of the playoffs while losing a first-rounder in the process.
Of course, the argument will always be made that Bradford and Minnesota would have been in much better shape if it wasn’t for all of the injuries on both sides of the football, but the only important factor is they missed out on a golden opportunity in 2016. Starting off the season with a 5-0 record shows just how talented this team really was, and it’s difficult not to wonder how everything would have turned out for the Vikings if it wasn’t for all of the injuries.
Bradford may be set to become a free agent following the 2017 season, but depending on what’s in store for Bridgewater down the road, Minnesota knows their quarterback solution next year is most likely short term. At 36, Tony Romo seems to only have two or three good years at best left in him, which makes the Vikings an interesting option for the veteran to consider if they’re not satisfied with Bradford.
After a 2015 season in which he threw for 4,428 yards to go along with 35 touchdowns, expectations were high for Blake Bortles heading into his third season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite most of those numbers coming in garbage time. With weapons like Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns in the passing game, last season was supposed to be the year in which the Jaguars seemed capable of making the leap to possibly being contenders in the AFC.
Obviously, that was far from the case since Jacksonville would go on to only win three games while parting ways with Gus Bradley before the season could officially come to an end. Doug Marrone will enter the 2017 season as the team’s new head coach, and while he seems willing to give Bortles one final chance to prove himself, he’s certainly not going to turn away a quarterback like Tony Romo if given the opportunity.
Compared to some of the other teams on this list, Jacksonville may seem like a long shot to land Romo, but they need to be considered due to their current issues at quarterback with Bortles. The potential is certainly their on offense, and it would be a shame to see the Jaguars put that talent to waste because of Bortles.
The Arizona Cardinals were considered strong favorites to make a run at the Super Bowl heading into the 2016 season, but instead turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments after they failed to even earn a spot in the playoffs. Along with the team finishing with a 7-8-1 record, there’s been plenty of questions surrounding whether Carson Palmer will call it a career with retirement, and even though the veteran claims he plans on returning for 2017, that doesn’t mean the Cardinals aren’t considering all options.
One of the main reasons why Arizona was considered such strong favorites is they seemed to have one of the best overall teams on paper, especially on the offensive side of the football. Most quarterbacks would do anything to be in Palmer’s situation by having one of the league’s top running backs in David Johnson along with a receiving corps loaded with talent led by Larry Fitzgerald.
When taking a closer look at the players the Cardinals have been fortunate enough to work with over the last two years, it’s hard not to wonder if the team missed their window on reaching the Super Bowl with Palmer. Sooner or later, Arizona will need to consider finding a new quarterback to build the franchise around, and as far as a short-term answer is concerned, could the Cardinals actually consider giving Romo a shot over Palmer?
Believe it or not, the idea doesn’t sound all that crazy if Romo can give Arizona another two or three years of being effective as a starter.
Tony Romo has known for quite some time that his days with the Dallas Cowboys were most likely over if he ever wanted the chance to start in the NFL again due to the emergence of Dak Prescott. At this point in career, Romo is going to want to play for a team that gives him the best chance of winning his first Super Bowl, and when looking at some of the strongest contenders with questionable starters at quarterback, the Kansas City Chiefs arguably rank near the top of the list.
Since joining the team in 2013, the Chiefs have managed to reach the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, and even found a way to win the AFC West title this past season thanks to the struggles of the Oakland Raiders in the final weeks. Throughout his career, Alex Smith has always received heavy praise for his ability as a game manager running the offense, but it’s rare to see him display a monster performance on offense like some of the other top quarterbacks in the league.
The fact that Kansas City failed to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs in January despite the defense preventing Ben Roethlisberger and the offense out of the end zone is the perfect example of the explosiveness Smith is missing from time to time. The Chiefs had been waiting a long time for the opportunity to finally advance to the AFC Championship, and that game against the Steelers may have been their best chance to do so.
If it wasn’t for Smith only completing 20 of 34 passes for 172 yards with a touchdown and an interception, chances are Kansas City would have received a shot to takedown the New England Patriots instead of Pittsburgh. Despite everything Smith has done over the last four seasons, don’t be surprised if the Chiefs at least weigh the possibility of bringing Romo on board to see if he would be a better option at quarterback.
Remember a few years ago when Colin Kaepernick was considered one of the league’s most dangerous threats at quarterback? It’s amazing how quickly things can change in the NFL when seeing how much Kaepernick has struggled over the last two seasons, and even though he’s expected to opt out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, nothing is official at the moment.
Anything is possible when it comes to the NFL, and with the 49ers bringing offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan on board as the new head coach, maybe Kaepernick will have a change of heart over the next few weeks. Then again, San Francisco seems to be in desperate need of a fresh start after only recording two wins all of last season, which means they will have plenty of options to consider in the offseason.
From the perspective of playing for a strong contender, the 49ers may seem like an absolute long shot for Tony Romo at this point in his career, but who knows what to expect now that Shanahan is on board. For a head coach that has seen plenty of success as an offensive coordinator throughout his career, maybe the addition of Shanahan is just what San Francisco needs to finally get back in the mix of being contenders once again in the NFC.
Either way, there’s no debate about who the better option would be at quarterback since Romo easily beats Kaepernick, and it’s not even close.
Injuries prevented Jay Cutler from playing a majority of the 2016 season, but there were also numerous reports surrounding the lack of respect from some of his Chicago Bears teammates. Cutler has received every opportunity in the world to prove himself over the last eight years with the Bears, and the fact that he hasn’t recorded a winning season since 2012 is the perfect example of why it’s time to move on.
This year marked the third season in a row Chicago finished at the bottom of the NFC North standings after finishing 2016 with a 3-13 record, but they may be in better shape than most people think. The future of Alshon Jeffery with the team is still up in the air depending on what happens over the next couple of weeks, but other young players such as Jordan Howard and Cameron Meredith give this offense plenty of potential to work with moving forward.
If the Bears do end up parting ways with Cutler, there’s no question this young offense could use a veteran leader like Tony Romo to help this team take the necessary steps in the right direction heading into 2017. Plus, the addition of Romo would certainly make life much easier for a head coach like John Fox when seeing all of the frustrations he’s had to deal with over the last two seasons.
Of all the disappointing quarterbacks from the 2016 season, nobody took the cake like Brock Osweiler of the Houston Texans when seeing all of the wasted money invested in the quarterback. To see Osweiler sign a $72 million contract with the Texans last March and throw more interceptions (16) than touchdowns (15) during his first season under center shows how much frustration there was surrounding the former Denver Broncos quarterback.
What was even more frustrating is Houston seemed capable of knocking off the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round of the playoffs after the defense did their part by keeping Tom Brady in check for the most part, only to see the offense fail to do their job. Any other quarterback in this situation would have been able to lead the Texans to a victory against the Patriots, but offense failed to take advantage of numerous opportunities and ended up throwing three interceptions instead.
Parting ways with Osweiler after just one season would certainly hurt Houston from a financial perspective when considering all of the guaranteed money in his contract, but it’s been done by NFL teams before. The Texans’ defense is already considered one of the best in the league, and with a quarterback like Tony Romo, they would increase their odds of winning the Super Bowl heading into the 2017 season.
The good news for Trevor Siemian is the Denver Broncos bringing Tony Romo on board for the 2017 season, he would still have the chance to be the quarterback of the future since the decision would be like bringing Peyton Manning on board in 2012 and only be short term. Romo has maybe three years left at best when it comes to being an effective starter in the NFL, and if anything, Siemian would be able to learn a ton playing behind an experienced veteran like Romo.
After winning Super Bowl 50, the Broncos were strong favorites once again heading into the 2016 season, but one of the main reasons why was due to an elite defense. While the defense had their fair share of struggles throughout the regular season, one of the main reasons why Denver missed out on the postseason was their inability to move the football down the field on offense.
From Siemian’s perspective, there was no excuse to struggle the way he did when considering he had two of the league’s top wide receivers to work with in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Put a quarterback like Romo in the mix with those kind of weapons, the possibilities on offense would be endless for the Broncos, and immediately help them become strong contenders again in the AFC.
Denver seems like the best scenario for both parties as Romo would have the opportunity to finish his career with a strong Super Bowl contender while Siemian could receive extra time to develop into the starter the Broncos hope he can become in the future.