While the NFL media has traded Tony Romo to more than half a dozen teams since the start of free agency, can we finally put the idea of trading the Dallas Cowboys quarterback to the Jacksonville Jaguars? The move isn’t as good as one might think. Despite the notion the team’s executive vice president Tom Coughlin might have interest in someone he played against while coaching the New York Giants, there are a few things that have not been discussed concerning the former Pro Bowl signal-caller.
Romo gives the Jaguars hope, but he also comes with plenty of baggage. If the Jaguars get back to “Coughlin Football” than bringing in veterans to run the show makes sense. But this organization must be leery of a “win now” mentality. If all things are equal and the Jaguars make a run at Romo, then that tells you everything you need to know about where the organization stands.
Still, here are a few reasons why I think acquiring Romo is a bad idea.
Giving up on Blake Bortles – Any notion of bringing in Romo to play in Jacksonville is a message the team has given up on Blake Bortles. The much-maligned signal caller is in the final year of his rookie deal. The Jaguars have not stated whether they will pick up his fifth-year option, and more than likely are waiting to see which quarterback shows up in camp.
If Bortles plays like he did in 2015, then he earns another big contract in north Florida. If he stumbles like he did in 2016, then the team loses nothing by releasing him. This team cannot bring Romo in with the understanding there will be competition for the starting job, rather it would be the veteran’s job. Bortles will be relegated to a backup role.
Too injury prone – I am amazed at the fact no one is mentioning that Romo is damaged goods. Back injuries, broken collar bones and various ailments. When Romo is on, he is one of the best in the league. When he is injured or has taken a beating, he is a shell of himself.
The Jaguars have added a few pieces to try to beef up its offensive line and should look to add a guard or tackle in the NFL Draft. Last season, this was a middle of the pack offensive line giving up 34 sacks. There are still questions with the interior of the line and whether Branden Albert is still a Pro Bowl player like he was in Miami in 2015.
This is a team that cannot afford to bring Romo in and have him go down in a heap after being sacked.
The cost of possibility – Romo won’t come cheap. If the Cowboys release him, he can negotiate a new deal with Jacksonville. The Jaguars have money to spend, but it would be awkward giving a 36-year-old fragile quarterback big-time money.
Romo made $8.5 million last season. How much would he command in free agency? If the Jaguars traded for him, what would the Cowboys want in return? By comparison, Bortles made $2.5 million in 2016 and at 24 years old has youth on his side.
What’s left in the tank? – Romo is not Peyton Manning, although the situations are uniquely the same.
Would the Jaguars take a chance on the “now” instead of planning for the future as the organization’s blue print has been since Shad Khan took over as owner of this team?
Jacksonville added Branden Albert and Calais Campbell to the team because of their veteran leadership as much as their ability. In this case, how does Romo coming in effect the locker room? And will overcome surgeries and abuse like Manning did to lead this team to the playoffs? The AFC South is one of the NFL’s weakest divisions, but Romo would face a Texans and Titans defense that are both solid. Is the risk worth the reward?
Does Romo want to play for a team that gives him the best chance to win a Super Bowl before he retires?