Free agency is over. There are still some players available but only a few notable ones. Most everyone else was either re-signed or scooped up between Thursday and Friday. There’s still one domino left to fall, one player who will have an impact on the rest of the league, not to mention his new team.
Tony Romo is still part of the Dallas Cowboys, contractually; not in the weepy once a Cowboy always a Cowboy kind of way.
But why? Dak Prescott has the starting job and Romo still wants to play, so what’s the holdup?
Despite reports that the Cowboys were going to release him last Thursday on the first day of the league year, they didn’t. The team wanted to try and trade him first.
A trade would be prohibitive for other teams trying to acquire him because of his salary. Romo and the Cowboys both have veto power on where he could be dealt, and it’s not likely to happen. The Broncos have sent signals that they have no interest in making a trade for Romo. Even Ronald Leary, a former Cowboy and brand new Bronco, said he wouldn’t be recruiting Romo to come to Denver.
So that leaves his release as the most likely option for the Cowboys. They also have an agreement in principle about where he would and where he wouldn’t play if he got released and signed with a new team. Dallas has no reason to hurry either, and maybe some other team will get desperate enough to make a deal.
As long as Romo is a Cowboy, the rest of the quarterback market could be stuck for a while.
Two teams are still the most likely destination for Romo: Denver and Houston. The team that loses out on Romo could then look for a consolation prize, like Jay Cutler or Colin Kaepernick. A new deal for Romo would set the market for the other quarterbacks out there, and teams and players could settle into a holding pattern until they see what a Romo deal looks like.
There’s another option. Fox Sports would like to have Romo on television to replace John Lynch. So maybe if he wanted to get on the NFL general manager career track...
Free agency is over, but we’re still on the first few pages of the biggest story of the offseason.