As the Dallas Cowboys look to move on from Tony Romo this offseason, the veteran quarterback isn’t expecting to be traded, but rather released.
Dak Prescott ultimately forced the hand of the Dallas Cowboys in the 2016 NFL season. As he took the helm of the offense and proved himself worthy as a rookie, the writing was on the wall for veteran quarterback Tony Romo, who Prescott was filling in for due to injury. Once healthy, Romo officially relinquished the starting job and his days left in Dallas seemed number.
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The expectation for all of the 2016 season has been that Romo won’t be with the Dallas Cowboys starting in 2017. However, the major question that everyone’s been asking is whether America’s Team would be able to find a trade partner for the quarterback or if they would be forced to release him. At least on Romo’s part, he’s expecting the latter.
According to a report from ESPN’s Ed Werder, Romo is expecting that he will be released, not traded, this offseason. Werder also adds that the Cowboys veteran also believes that he has at least a couple more years of being a quality starting quarterback in the NFL left in the tank:
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
Whether you agree with Romo in his assessment of his future prospects given his age and recent injury history, the more important part is that he’s expecting his release rather than a trade. From a financial perspective, that leaves the Cowboys in an interesting situation.
Dallas is set to enter the offseason already $12 million over the salary cap, per overthecap.com. If there were to trade Romo, they would not be liable for any of his $24.7 million cap number next season. His release, however, paints a much different picture.
If Romo were to be released as a pre-June 1 cut, the Cowboys would incur $19.6 million in dead cap while saving just $5.1 million, again per overthecap.com. Meanwhile, if Dallas waits and makes him a post-June 1 cut, then the team would save $14 million, though they’d still take on $10.7 million in dead cap.
That’s an interesting situation because, as we well know, the bulk of free agency signings take place in March, or at least early in the new league year. Subsequently, shedding $5.1 million would be helpful. But at the same time, shedding $14 million down the line is much more enticing considering the substantial jump in that number.
So while Romo is expecting his release, the real question then becomes when the Cowboys will choose to cut the veteran quarterback. As has been the case all season, it looks like the Romo saga is still far from over in Dallas.