It appears Tony Romo is as all in as Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones when it comes to finding a solution that works for both sides in 2017.
According to a recent report by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, the four-time pro bowler is weighing his options for 2017, but at no point made any demands of the club. One of the options in play, sources tell La Canfora, is a restructuring of his current deal to help facilitate a trade.
“The thought of going to a rebuilding team obviously doesn’t make much sense at this point in his career, and being flexible with regard to massaging his contract to work within the cap constraints of a contending team is something to which he’s open.”
The Cowboys are still looking to land some type of assets for Romo, potentially a third rounder or more, in a trade of some sort — but a release is the next logical option if no deal materializes with another team.
A large part of the issue in any possible trade is Romo’s hefty contract. He’s set to make a base salary of $14M with a $5M signing bonus in 2017, a contract that hits the Cowboys’ salary cap for a whopping $24.7M.
If traded or designated as a pre-June 1 release, the team will be forced to eat $19.6M in dead money but would save $5.1M against the cap. Designating him as a post-June 1 release would do Romo no favors whatsoever as it relates to finding a new home, but would up the cap savings in Dallas to $14M as the dead money drops to $8.9M.
And that’s quite a difference.
When it comes to the supposed “massaging” of the contract assisting the Cowboys, however, Insider Mike Fisher says pump the brakes.
— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) February 20, 2017
As it stands, a post-June 1 release would also allow the team to split the cap hit over the next two years, furthering the logic in holding off if a release is imminent.
That, however, puts Romo in the precarious position of looking to land on a Super Bowl contending team as teams prepare for OTAs and training camp. While that’s possible, the odds would certainly not be in his favor. And to dunk a myth quickly here, retirement by Romo with an attached restructuring doesn’t eliminate the dead money hit.
It’s called dead money for a reason.
In other words, the money has already been paid to the veteran QB and can only be recovered if Romo chooses to repay it to the Cowboys — and, well, good luck with that.
Jerry Jones contends the Cowboys and Romo will “get through this” as they look for a solution that is amicable to all sides, and time will tell what that turns out to be. The most likely scenario still remains a release, but it’s clear a trade is still an option.