Dallas Cowboys

Report: Tony Romo expects release, not trade, from Cowboys, sees 2-3 more NFL years

Tony Romo says he showed he can be the same guy

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo felt good about his performance on Sunday. Video by Clarence Hill Jr.
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Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo felt good about his performance on Sunday. Video by Clarence Hill Jr.

Quarterback Tony Romo, no longer the starter with the Dallas Cowboys, expects to be released by the Cowboys, not traded, ESPN’s Ed Werder tweeted on Thursday morning, citing a source.

Werder’s tweet also says Romo doesn’t consider his future as one-more-and-done.

The report doesn’t preclude that the Cowboys could still work out a trade, particularly now that other NFL teams see a possible free-for-all for Romo’s services. A trade is being described as “messy” in various sports media reports.

A release gives Romo and any interested NFL suitor much more latitude in taking the risk with Romo’s injury history while not giving up a draft pick or conditional draft pick in a trade.

Romo carries the “one hit and done” spectre after suffering a broken bone in his back from a hit in August in a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks.

ProFootballTalk.com’s and NBC commentator Mike Florio predicted back in December that a release was Romo’s most likely scenario. A team trading for Romo inherits his 2017 salary of $14 million, which can be restructured, but puts cap hits on future years.

NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin believes Denver or Houston would be perfect for Tony Romo next season.

“It makes more sense for him to negotiate a new deal from scratch with the team of his choice,” Florio writes.

Florio also writes of reports from PFT and elsewhere that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Romo would work out a “wink-nod” arrangement that Romo, if released, wouldn’t sign with the Cowboys hated rival and possibly quarterback-needy Washington Redskins.

Would that “arrangement” also include the Houston Texans, a close-to-home destination for Romo? A release may put Cowboys West, the Denver Broncos, back into play.

If the Cowboys release Romo, they save about $5 million on the cap. Romo’s salary-cap hit is set at $24.7 million for 2017. A release accelerates his bonus and restructured contract bonus immediately onto the cap.

The Cowboys can also desiginate Romo as a post-June 1, and spread the $19.6 million cap hit in bonuses over the next two years. That doesn’t help with free agency cap space until June 1 but gives Romo a head start as a released player.

A team can’t designate a player as a post-June 1 cut until the new league year starts on March 9, when all clubs must be under the new salary cap.

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