By leaving the door even a tiny bit open for a potential return, newly-retired quarterback Tony Romo has put himself in a position to become the next Brett Favre. Every time a NFL team has an opening at quarterback, Romo will be listed as a potential candidate to fill it.
But for now, Romo is inactive. What does that do to the quarterback carousel still spinning?
It could speed things up for Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick
Both were sort of in limbo as quasi-starting-caliber quarterbacks, waiting for the Romo domino to fall. The Denver Broncos and Houston Texans were thought to be the primary suitors for Romo, and now that he’s at least temporarily out of the equation, Houston and Denver can turn their attention elsewhere.
Houston should give Kaepernick a shot
The Texans appear to be more desperate than the Broncos. Brock Osweiler is gone and Tom Savage probably isn’t the answer under center, while Broncos general manager John Elway has at least expressed confidence in young quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch.
The Texans might use their No. 25 overall pick on a quarterback, but even if they do, that rookie won’t likely be ready to compete for a starting job right away.
Kaepernick has his flaws, but if he can give Houston a better chance to win than Savage and/or the guy they take in the first round, the Texans have to sign him. With three-time defensive player of the year J.J. Watt back, this team is a solid quarterback short of contending for a championship in 2017. Adding Kaepernick certainly couldn’t hurt.
Could Cutler wind up in San Francisco?
A return to Denver isn’t out of the question, especially if Cutler lingers on the open market and the Broncos lose confidence in the young quarterbacks already on their roster. And if indeed Cutler remains a free agent for a while, an injury elsewhere could open the door for him to become an interim starter for a team not currently on the quarterback radar.
But the 49ers probably won’t be drafting a quarterback in the No. 2 spot and there’s a good chance all four of the top-tier quarterbacks in this draft will be gone before they pick again. They already brought in the other two quarterbacks who were on the Chicago Bears’ depth chart last season (Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley), so obviously they have a thing for former Bears. Why not Cutler? He’s better than those two options — both of whom were brought in to be backups, not starters — and he probably gives the Niners their best chance to win as many games as possible in 2017.
They owe that to their fans.