Any official moves on the Tony Romo front will slow to a crawl now that Thursday’s trade has cleared a runway for the veteran to land in Houston. With his status up in the air and Mike Glennon snapped up by the Bears, that leaves Jay Cutler as the league’s top free agent passer.
This is great news for Dallas and Romo, whose list of suitors grew without any real competition emerging on the market. The odds of a Romo trade, which would keep him as the league’s highest-paid quarterback for 2017, have gone up now.
It also leaves a few interesting scenarios to play out on the open market. If the Browns cut their newly acquired quarterback, Osweiler and Cutler would be the two top consolation prizes from a Romo deal.
But Denver is likely uninterested in Cutler given his history with the club. Either team signing Romo would set a few different moving pieces in motion, and the deals would likely domino all the way down to the least desirable free agent destination this spring — the New York Jets.
Right now, the quarterback market all depends on what happens with the Cowboys’ 36-year-old soon-to-be ex-QB.
The good news is, they’re in great shape for a rebuild. The Browns have been amassing draft picks like Sam Hinkie’s 76ers and currently hold 12 picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, including the No. 1 and No. 12 overall selections. They can use that capital to address the needs they can’t fix in free agency while shipping other draft assets away for either future picks or players who can (like, once again, Garoppolo).
Two of the top three linebackers are gone, but the returnee, Sherrod Ruff, is a keeper. He recorded 11 TFLs, three sacks, and three forced fumbles from the strong side. Reserves Jeremy Sangster and Paxton Schrimsher were active in limited chances, and mid-three-star redshirt freshmen JaCorey Morris and Racheem Boothe could make a quick impact.