If it should happen that Tony Romo is eventually released to the free-agent market, the Denver Broncos may express interest in the veteran quarterback.
A source in the Broncos’ football department did not dismiss the possibility of bringing in the Dallas Cowboys quarterback -- providing the situation reaches the point where Romo is no longer Cowboys’ property.
For financial and salary cap purposes, the Cowboys’ first preference likely would be to trade Romo, who was the team’s starting quarterback for 10 seasons until he lost his job this season to a back injury and the terrific performance of rookie Dak Prescott.
Romo, who turns 37 in April, has three non-guaranteed years on his contract that would pay him $14 million in 2017, $19.5 million in 2018 and $20.5 million in 2019.
But also for financial and cap purposes, the Broncos likely would only express interest in Romo if he is released. That way, the Broncos would be in better position to negotiate a reduced contract with Romo.
To date, Broncos general manager John Elway has repeatedly stated he’s happy with the team’s current quarterback group of Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
Siemian didn’t play in his rookie year of 2015, but started 14 games in his second season of 2016. Lynch was the Broncos’ first-round draft pick last year, No. 26 overall, who started the other two games last season.
Elway did attempt to acquire Colin Kaepernick from the San Francisco 49ers last season but only on the condition the quarterback accepted a reduced contract that would have reduced his 2016 payout from $14.3 million to $7 million.
Kaepernick balked and Elway moved on to Lynch, a 6-foot-7 prospect who threw 28 touchdowns against just four interceptions in his final season at Memphis.
If the Broncos make a play for Romo, it would likely be at a reduced rate as he played in just four games in 2015 after he twice broke his left collarbone, and just one series in 2016 because of a compression fracture in a vertebra that created an opening for Prescott. A report in November claimed Romo would be interested in playing for the Broncos after the 2016.
Making a play on Romo would also indicate a lack of confidence in Siemian and Lynch, at least in the short term. The NFL’s trading period and free agency for the 2017 season opens March 9. Back in November, an NFL Network report said Romo would be interested in playing for the Broncos after the 2016 season.