Well, chalk this up to speculation I never thought would be possible. The Dallas Cowboys almost certainly will move on from Tony Romo this year (never say never, but a 24.7 million dollar cap hit is certainly not something any team wants to absorb to pay its backup quarterback), and speculation is running rampant about where he might end up in 2017. Our friends at Blogging the Boys compiled a list of possible landing spots for Romo, and not surprisingly, Buffalo was high in the rankings. From the article:
2. Buffalo Bills. The Bills could cut Tyrod Taylor and take a cap hit of less than $3 million. And Tony Romo’s contract of $14 million is cheaper than Taylor’s for 2017. So Buffalo could add Romo for the same cost as Taylor. Seems like a no-brainer. With new coach Sean McDermott coming over from the NFC, it’s possible he’ll want to switch things up on the offensive side as well.
Semantics aside over whether Buffalo would “cut” Taylor or “choose not to exercise his 2017-2018 option,” the point is a valid one—if Romo were to be cut, and the Bills acquired him, he could be rostered by Buffalo for less than it would cost them to keep Tyrod Taylor. Should they do it? Well, it depends.
There are obviously two ways to acquire Romo: either he will be released by the Cowboys, and Buffalo will need to sign him on the open market, or he will need to be acquired via trade with the Cowboys. The latter option is unlikely for a myriad of reasons, most of which were outlined beautifully by Jeff Hunter when discussing Philip Rivers, so I won’t go too far down that rabbit hole. The former method of acquisition carries quite a bit of risk for Buffalo, especially since they would (presumably) have to make a decision on Taylor’s option at nearly the same time that they would be vying for Romo’s services.
What would be the risks and rewards to having Romo on the roster? The obvious red flag with Romo is injury-based, since he has not played a full year since his age-34 season in 2014. He will be 37 at the start of the 2017 season, and regression is certainly possible. However, the best season of his career was arguably that 2014 season. He led the league in completion percentage, TD percentage, yards per attempt, QBR, and passer rating, all while throwing for 3700 yards, 34 TDs, and 9 INTs. He would give the Bills a pure passer with something to prove and a penchant for using the kinds of weapons (star wide receiver in Sammy Watkins, athletic tight end in Charles Clay) that the Bills have.
Is Buffalo a place that Romo would even be interested in going? Looking at the list provided on BtB, it may be his best option if he wants to play and be competitive. He would instantly have a plus-running game, the aforementioned weapons in the passing game, and a solid offensive line to protect him. If the team isn’t sold on Taylor, kicking the tires on Romo seems to be something that should at least be considered.
If the Bills were to acquire the veteran, they would have to hope that the acquisition was more Minnesota Brett Favre or Denver Peyton Manning than New York Jets Brett Favre or Buffalo Bills Drew Bledsoe.
What say you, Bills fans—is this a worthwhile check into upgrading the team, or a slap in the face to the incumbent starter?