Tony Romo, the Denver Broncos, and what makes sense

Jan 15, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional playoff game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) warms up before the game against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional playoff game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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Making sense of the rumors regarding Tony Romo and the Denver Broncos. Will John Elway come calling for the veteran quarterback?

The situation regarding Tony Romo and the Denver Broncos is much simpler than anyone is really giving it credit, and it has been from the very beginning. Still, rumors continue to pop up, then get shot down, and the cycle repeats.

And we’re not even out of January…

We wrote back in November about the idea of Romo, which wasn’t terrible then and it isn’t terrible now. If you could just put Romo on the Broncos’ roster with no cap ramifications, let him battle it out with Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian, what’s wrong with that? The unfortunate reality is that there are far too many millions of dollars currently attached to Romo’s name to facilitate a move to Denver.

I’ll paste in here something that I wrote about the idea of Romo back in November that reigns true yet today, and I’ll expound on it in a bit…

"In my opinion, the playoffs will be the determining factor for whether or not the Broncos would pursue someone like Tony Romo. How well does Siemian play? Do they feel like this is a roster capable of winning it all with another QB learning on the job?"

Now, the Broncos obviously didn’t make the playoffs. It was the first time they suffered such a fate in the John Elway era, and while there’s plenty of blame to go around from the offensive line to poor coaching decisions to horrifically timed turnovers, the quarterback play this past year was a significant reason why the Broncos missed out on the postseason.

That’s just a reality. It’s not me being too hard on Trevor Siemian, because anyone who reads this website knows that I proclaimed 2016 a ‘bulletproof’ season for the Broncos as they go through a process of discovery at quarterback.

After drafting Paxton Lynch in the first round, it’s a little more than frustrating to not really know what the Broncos have in their former top pick. Lynch was one of the most coveted quarterbacks in the 2016 class, with Dallas ironically being one of his top suitors.

But to return to my original point, not making the playoffs has to be a determining factor for John Elway in some way or another. Is he going to go another season risking no postseason play just to watch the development of Siemian for another year? Lynch?

If Elway determines that the postseason is even remotely unlikely with Siemian or Lynch in 2017, it will affect his thought process in a potential pursuit of Tony Romo, which leads me to my next point:

More from Predominantly Orange

Romo’s salary is impossible to trade for.

There dumbest rumor I have read in all of the Tony Romo talk is that the Broncos would ever even entertain the idea of actually trading for him. He carries a cap hit of $24.7 million next season with a base salary of $14 million. The Cowboys are on the hook for $19.6 million in dead money if they choose to cut Romo, which means that in order to get to the Denver Broncos, he would have to be willing to pay back a lot of money.

Which leads me to my next point:

The only way Tony Romo is part of the Denver Broncos in 2017 is if he takes a pay cut, and pays money back to the Dallas Cowboys.

To be honest with you, I don’t know if there’s even precedent for that in the NFL. I don’t know that a player has ever wanted to go to another team so badly that he has given back millions upon millions of dollars to the team he’s leaving just to go to another.

What we know at this point is that Denver is Romo’s number one preferred destination. We also have this picture of Romo with Elway at the inauguration in January, leading to more conspiracy theories…

John Elway has of course said he’s satisfied with the quarterback position, and it’s reasonable to think that the Broncos will simply move forward with Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian, adding an inexpensive third option possibly through the draft. The Broncos have built their team so that having a high priced quarterback is really not an option.

But there’s only one way for this move to happen that makes any sense at all, and it’s for Romo to get to work on paying money back to the Cowboys, and taking a huge pay cut to play in Denver. Of course the Broncos would be interested in Romo if all of these things happen. It’s a high price to pay to play for a contender, but if he’s really committed to getting a ring, you’d think he would do whatever it takes.

In the case of the Denver Broncos, ‘whatever it takes’ might be too much, even for a ringless Tony Romo.