Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side. That is the sad truth the Chicago Bears may soon realize, after the team chose to release Jay Cutler. The highly criticized quarterback spent eight seasons in Chicago, and though he only led them to a 51-51 regular season record in that time, Cutler leaves as the franchise’s all-time leading passer. He may not be Aaron Rodgers, but it does get a lot worse. (Ask Cleveland.)
My Top Sportsbooks saw the move coming, and also predicted another franchise’s all-time passing leader would be released: Tony Romo. Two days into the NFL free-agency period, the Dallas Cowboys have not yet parted ways with Romo, but it does seem inevitable. Dallas was forced to turn to rookie fourth-round pick Dak Prescott last year after Romo suffered a back injury just three plays into his preseason debut.
Prescott impressed from day one and led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record, while setting a new rookie record for passer rating (104.9). The Cowboys stuck with the rookie in spite of Romo being healthy and ready to play for the final few weeks of the regular season. The Mississippi State product fell victim to some late game heroics from Aaron Rodgers in his first playoff game, but he’s certainly not the first to suffer that fate. Prescott, who was named Offensive Rookie of the Year, played his way into the starting role, and deserves to keep it.
So where does this leave Romo?
After initially saying the team would release the veteran pivot, owner/GM Jerry Jones has now slightly changed his tune. Jones now says Dallas will holdout for a trade. The two teams believed to be most interested in Romo are the Houston Texans and Denver Broncos. Now that Houston has shed Brock Osweiler‘s absurd contract, they have the cap space to make a move. However, neither team has shown much desire to trade for the 13-year veteran. They appear to be holding out for him to hit the Free Agency market.
Jones would be doing Romo a disservice if he traded him anywhere other than Denver or Houston, and the owner clearly wants to do right by his longtime QB; so Dallas’ hands may be tied. If neither Houston nor Denver budges on a trade, Romo will join Cutler in the free-agent pool, where he’ll have his pick of the litter.
Other quarterbacks looking for new homes in 2017 include: Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles, Geno Smith, and likely Brock Osweiler. It goes without saying, Romo is clearly the best option for QB-needy franchises, his longstanding injury concerns notwithstanding.