Tony Romo could ask the Cowboys to release him this offseason rather than offer him in trade talks, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. A release would allow Romo the opportunity to scour the free agent market for the right fit as he concludes his career.
Releasing Romo could have benefits for the Cowboys as well, especially when it comes to the salary cap. If Dallas trades Romo, the club will absorb $19.6MM in dead money in 2017 and save just $5.1MM, and would realize the same totals if it cuts Romo before June 1. But if the Cowboys designate Romo as a post-June 1 cut, they would only take on $10.7MM in dead money next season while saving $14MM on the cap. In that scenario, Dallas would then see $8.9MM in 2018 dead money, as well.
However, by trading Romo, the Cowboys could theoretically reap some sort of draft pick compensation, and ensure that Romo doesn’t land with a division rival such as the Redskins (assuming Washington doesn’t re-sign Kirk Cousins). By retaining control over his rights, Dallas could ship Romo to another division, or even better, to the AFC, and not have to worry about facing him repeatedly. As Florio notes, though, Romo enjoys a solid relationship with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, so it’s possible the two could work out a gentleman’s agreement that grants Romo his release in exchange for the veteran QB not signing with a rival.
The Broncos and Cardinals have already been mentioned potential landing spots for Romo, and he’s reportedly “keeping tabs” on other clubs, potentially including the Dolphins, per Florio. Miami could be faced with an extended Ryan Tannehill absence, and if his recovery bleeds over into 2017, the Dolphins could have interest in a veteran such as Romo.
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