Tony Romo's retirement leaves fantasy questions in Houston, Denver
After months of speculation, the other shoe has finally dropped in the Tony Romo saga. The veteran quarterback decided Tuesday to hang up his cleats and likely head for the greener pastures of the broadcast booth. Romo has received interest from CBS, FOX, and NBC.
Though not officially “retired,” Romo will be released on Tuesday. This move saves the Cowboys $14 million against the cap in 2017, though this money is not available to the team until June 2. Romo will also count $8.9 million against the cap in 2018.
In an era chock full of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Romo managed to stand out from a statistical standpoint. From 2007 to 2014, he racked up the eighth-most passing yards (30,427) and seventh-most passing touchdowns (223). He burst onto the fantasy scene in 2007, finishing second at the position in Tom Brady’s 50-touchdown season. He went on to post as a top-12 finishes in six of the next seven seasons, with the one year he didn’t being cut short by injury (2010).
Of course, injuries are ultimately what derailed Romo’s career over the last two years. A fractured collarbone limited him to just four games and 121 attempts in 2015. Last year he suffered a fractured vertebra in the third preseason game and managed just four regular season pass attempts.
There was never any question if Romo would be under center for the Cowboys this year. That job belongs to second-year man Dak Prescott for the foreseeable future. The Romo rumor mill has focused on his potential landing spot, with Denver and Houston as the top destinations. These teams have two things in common: 1) Neither team had interest in trading for Romo, and 2) Both teams remain on shaky ground at quarterback.
Denver enters 2017 under a new coaching regime with incumbents Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch on the roster. Siemian is the slight favorite to win the job, though Lynch under center would likely be a better thing for fantasy purposes. He possesses a bigger arm and has more mobility as a runner. That being said, neither player is likely to have a rising tide effect on the Denver offense this year.
Things are even worse in Houston where Tom Savage current sits atop the depth chart in the wake of the failed Brock Osweiler experiment. Savage played in three games last year and showed that he was at least capable of breathing some life into the Texans’ offense. But a starter-level quarterback he is not. If Houston doesn’t decide to roll with Savage, their options are limited. Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick are still free agents. The Texans could also decide to select a quarterback with the No. 25 pick in this month’s draft, but that would be an uncharacteristic move of a team that has not selected a quarterback earlier than the fourth round since 2003.