Come 2017, the Cowboys and Texans could be paying a combined $1.23 million for their starters — and a combined $30 million for their understudies.
While it’s likely that Tony Romo and his $14 million non-guaranteed salary won’t be back in Dallas (although owner Jerry Jones says he’d like to convince Romo to stay as the No. 2 to Dak Prescott and his $540,000 pay), it will be difficult for the Texans to get rid of Brock Osweiler. Under the contract Osweiler signed in March, he received $21 million this year, and he’s due to make $16 million fully guaranteed in 2017.
No one will be trading for Osweiler’s contract as currently constructed. If he’s cut, his cap charge of $19 million would increase to $25 million.
Either way, the Texans owe him $16 million for next year. The only way to save any of that money would be to hope someone else signs him to a lower salary, with Houston getting a dollar-for-dollar credit.
Yes, coach Bill O’Brien has said quarterback decisions won’t be made based on quarterback salary. Osweiler’s exorbitant pay in relation to the fourth year of Tom Savage’s rookie contract ($690,000) could give Osweiler an edge in the eyes of the guy who signs the checks.