Because Romo was cut as opposed to being placed on the league’s reserve/retired list, he was not forced to pay back $5 million in bonus money that he already received.
Romo said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was doing him a favor by cutting him. “I’ve never had a better boss or mentor than Jerry Jones,” he said via ProFootballTalk.
In the Cowboys official statement on Romo’s release, Jones said, “As an organization, we did what he asked us to do in terms of his release, and we wanted to do what was ultimately in his best interest and in the best interest of his family.”
Jones added that he felt Romo “left everything he had on the field,” which is probably a good indication of why he did the favor. Though as Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram reports, it doesn’t appear the Cowboys ever intended to make Romo pay it back.
While that was indeed a nice gesture by Jones, it doesn’t guarantee that Romo will stay off the field. Despite officially signing on to become the new lead NFL game analyst with CBS, replacing Phil Simms, Romo is now free to sign with any team.
That’s not pure speculation, either. He wouldn’t rule out an NFL return during his introductory teleconference.