Romo’s bonus explanation doesn’t tell the whole story

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Tony Romo was a great quarterback and could be an even better analyst, but he’s not a very good B.S. artist, yet. (All due respect.)

The idea that the Cowboys cut Romo so that he wouldn’t have to repay $5 millions in bonus money doesn’t hold water. If Romo had retired, the Cowboys wouldn’t have been required to collect a penny.

Last year, running back Marshawn Lynch retired from the Seahawks, but the Seahawks didn’t require him to pay back (coincidentally) $5 million in previously-paid bonus money. The difference, however, is that with Lynch now considering a return, he has to navigate the reality that the Seahawks still hold his rights. Romo, by getting released, didn’t have to do that.

A similar thing happened three years ago, when the Falcons released tight end Tony Gonzalez because he had failed to retire before a major bonus payment was due under his contract. While Gonzalez never retired, getting an outright release would have made it much easier for Gonzalez to come back, if he’d ever decided to do so.

For Romo, why not have maximum flexibility? It’s understandable that he wouldn’t discuss possibly returning to play while he’s launching a broadcasting career, but it’s also accurate that today’s roster move gives Romo a much clearer and easier way to return, if he ever wants to.

The release allows the Cowboys to spread the cap charge arising from Romo’s departure over two years. And if that were the stated reason for the action, it would have made a lot more sense. Tying the decision to a desire to give Romo $5 million in free money doesn’t make sense, and it’s hard not to wonder whether Romo is at least keeping his options open.

If he is, it’s hard to blame him. Even if Romo never comes back, he should engineer the cleanest and simplest path toward doing so.

15 responses to “Romo’s bonus explanation doesn’t tell the whole story

  1. Jerky Jones didn’t go after Kyle Orton’s money either when Orton retired.

    These players restructured their contracts turning salary into signing bonuses to give their team cap relief. Had they not restructured, they would have earned that money as salary and it would be untouchable by Jones. Had Jones gone after their signing bonus money he would have had trouble getting other players to restructure.

  2. Romo and Jerrah’s bromance is officially over. Both are doing their gosh diddly darndest to make this an amicable divorce. And the Dallas Circus (Jerry Jones) is pretending they’ve done the right thing (thus tying the decision to a desire to give Romo $5 million in free money).

  3. Of course the explanation was bs. Why else would Jerry have given teams the okay to talk with Romo as long as it was about assuming his current contract if it were about anything other than cap space? Romo did Jerry a solid by spinning it the way he did.

  4. Great QB? Maybe at times. But ESPN’s Dan Graziano went further & said Tony is HOF QB. Romo is a nice guy, very good QB most of the time. Not HOF material.

  5. As soon as I read that claim, I knew you’d follow that up with a separate article pointing out that the Cowboys don’t have to release him in order for him not to have to pay back that money.

    I’ll take your logic and raise you some even better logic: if you were Tony Romo, wouldn’t you kinda prefer to just eliminate that possibility altogether by having the Cowboys release your rights? There’s nothing saying Jerry Jones doesn’t get hit by a bus tomorrow, and the new guy in charge decides he wants Romo to pay that bonus money back.

    Obviously having your rights released in the event you want to later return to football is preferable. That goes without saying. Any which way you look at it, though, the Cowboys did Tony Romo a huge favor by cutting him.

  6. He won’t become a free agent until June 1, so teams won’t be pursuing him for the time being. He is smart enough to get a job with a TV network just in case no team wants to sign him as their qb.

  7. 1historian says:
    Apr 4, 2017 8:47 PM
    “Tony Romo was a great quarterback.”

    This is a joke, right?
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    No. If you look up Dallas Cowboys passing records you would expect to find Aikman or Staubach at the top of most but you will actually find Romo. What he lacked was a stacked team, hence, not much post-season success.

  8. Enough of this sheet with Romo already. He never won a SB nor even played in one and only played in a few playoff games and he won’t make it into the NFL HOF, so enough already with all this BS on Romo.

  9. This explanation never made sense. Getting cut so he could keep his bonus?

    This was another P.R. move for Jerruh, and Tony, being a friend, played along for him.

  10. Nice guy who is easy to root for. Which is why I get all the media attention he is currently getting (Plus the media doesn’t think there is anything else to talk about )As a NFL QB he didn’t suck. He won 60% of his games started. His biggest hurdle was staying healthy. To even mention HOF is ridiculously laughable.

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