The big winners from Tony Romo”s decision to retire might very well be the Tennessee Titans.
Tony Romo‘s move to the broadcast booth should send repercussions through the AFC South. And in a good way for the Tennessee Titans. Romo had long been rumored to be headed to the Houston Texans, last season’s AFC South champions. With oft-injured Romo now off the table, the Texans face the option of going with Tom Savage, a rookie draft pick or signing a veteran. Jay Cutler anyone?
Brock Osweiller, who was traded to Cleveland this offseason, wasn’t, well, he wasn’t good, last season. But he still did enough to coax nine wins out of the Texans and hold off Savage for most of the season.
The soon-to-be 34-year-old Cutler, meanwhile, hasn’t played a full season since 2009. And he has led a team to the playoffs just once in his 11 previous NFL seasons. So what does that mean for the rest of what should be the NFL’s most wide-open division?
As things currently stand, the Titans just might be the favorite. After all, they have the NFL’s top 1-2 punch at running back, a star quarterback going into his third season and a defense that’s made some quality pickups. Much will depend upon the healthy return of quarterback Marcus Mariota from a broken leg. By all accounts, Mariota is well along in his recovery.
And with two top-20 picks in this month’s draft, including the fifth-overall selection, the Titans have an opportunity to add a pair of impact players. For a team that won nine games a year ago, that’s big.
The Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars also should feel bolstered by the fact the Texans won’t be adding a potential quality quarterback. The Colts won eight games a year ago and have added defensive players in free agency that might not move the needle in quality. But those pickups certainly attack things from a quantity perspective. Throw enough stuff against the wall and the chances are some of it will stick.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, have again gone for splash moves in free agency, most notably luring cornerback A.J. Bouye away from the Texans. The Jags won just three games last season and need major improvement from quarterback Blake Bortles if they are going to compete for a title this season, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibilities.
As things currently stand, however, the Titans just might be the favorite, pending what happens at the end of this month.