Tony Romo will be playing for a new team in 2017, should it be the Chicago Bears?
The Chicago Bears will have a new quarterback in 2017. The Jay Cutler era in Chicago is over and the Bears are just playing out a disappointing season waiting to see what direction the team will head next year. There is no doubt GM Ryan Pace will bring in a young QB of the future, but what will the plan be? Most teams throw their rookie QBs to the fire and let them learn on the fly but some prefer to let the QB spend a season learning behind a veteran. The Bears may have a unique opportunity this offseason to draft their QB of the future while still bringing in a capable QB to try to help them win now.
After Tony Romo’s emotional press conference earlier this week, it is clearer than ever that the Dallas Cowboys are now Dak Prescott’s team. Prescott has the Cowboys positioned as one of the best teams in the NFL and with his early success and youth paired with Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas is in a position to be very good for a very long time.
The Cowboys certainly will not pay Tony Romo his current salary to back up Prescott, nor is it fair to do that to a capable veteran QB. Tony Romo will be on a new team in 2017, the only question is which one?
Clearly, the Bears will not be Romo’s first choice. He will want to go to a team on the cusp of winning a Super Bowl- the Arizona Cardinals come to mind- the Bears are most definitely not that. But there are not a plethora of teams that are very good without a good QB. The Houston Texans might be one, but they just committed to Brock Osweiler. The Denver Broncos could be another, but it’s difficult to determine what John Elway is going to want to do with his QB situation next season.
If those teams do not land Romo, he’s going to have to lower his expectations. Trading for Tony Romo seems like something to New York Jets would do, but after that, there aren’t many teams left that would take a chance on Romo. Would Ryan Pace? That’s an interesting question.
The Bears will have a young QB on the roster next season. That QB could be Jimmy Garoppolo, but if the Bears don’t trade for the New England Patriots QB, they will turn to the draft to grab their QB of the future.
Usually, teams like to throw their rookie QBs out there and see what they can do, but there will almost certainly be growing pains, and almost certainly another losing season.
Aug 25, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril (56) during the first half of an NFL football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
After what appears to be a dismal 2016, Pace and John Fox may not be able to afford to throw away 2017 while a rookie QB learns the ropes. Fox will certainly start next season on the hot seat and Pace won’t be too far behind.
The Bears are going young, but perhaps while the young roster grows up together, the Bears might want a stabilizing force at QB. Romo certainly still has the skills to play, even though his injury history is a concern. The Bears will have gobs of money to work with next season, especially once they move Cutler’s salary off the books. They would be in position to absorb Romo’s contract completely, while there is also a shot that Romo might be willing to restructure his deal to make it a little more cap friendly in exchange for a little more guaranteed money.
While it may not make complete sense for Chicago to bring in a veteran like Romo, you have to keep in mind that Pace and Fox may understand that a 4-12 season in 2017 will most likely result in the need for them to polish up their resumes. The Bears will need to show improvement next year and they may not be able to do that with a rookie QB that turns the football over 20 times.
Romo would give a boost to an offense that needs one, and while he’s fragile, a healthy offensive line of Charles Leno, Josh Sitton, Cody Whitehair, Kyle Long and a new right tackle should be able to protect him pretty well.
If the defense improves again next season and Romo can stabilize the offense, there’s no reason to think this team can’t make a significant jump next season. Yes, having Romo would slow the progress of a rookie QB, but the Bears are going to need results next season, they’ve burned their opportunity for another disappointing season. Not to mention, Romo is a good teammate that certainly wouldn’t have a problem mentoring a young quarterback.
Romo to the Bears seems like a long shot, Pace wants to go young and bringing in a QB older than your current one is certainly not going young, but will Pace have a job in 2018 if the Bears stink up the shores of Lake Michigan in 2017? That is certainly a question mark but John Fox would almost certainly be fired after a third losing season if he isn’t fired after this one.
The combination of Pace and Fox simply may not have a choice, they may need to bring in a veteran QB like Romo in hopes of winning some football games. Romo certainly won’t have Chicago on the top of his wish list, but if a team like Arizona doesn’t bite, it may be one he will have to consider.