At 4 p.m. ET today, the 2017 NFL year officially kicked off, and with it came a flurry of almost instant activity centered on quarterbacks. Brock Osweiller and Mike Glennon have new teams, the Cowboys are looking for the right place to send Tony Romo and Jay Cutler is out of a job in Chicago.
During the day, Osweiller was traded to the Browns for three draft picks, including a second-round pick in the 2018 draft. Glennon went to the Bears with a 3-year, $45 million contract. Romo is expected to be traded by the Cowboys, while Cutler has officially been cut by the Bears.
Here’s a look at the four major quarterback moves of the first day of the NFL’s new year.
Tony Romo Could Land in Denver or Houston
Romo clearly understands that he’s not playing for the Cowboys in 2017, as he’s already shared a video on Instagram, in which he says goodbye to Dallas fans.
The quarterback had spent his entire career with Dallas. He only played in the first game of the 2016 season before being sidelined by another injury. Rookie Dak Prescott then led the Cowboys to the best regular season record in the NFC, with a 13-3 record.
DallasCowboys.com notes that if the team decides to release Romo, they would save $5 million on the salary cap, but take a $19 million charge in 2017. If they cut him after June 1, they could split that $19 million hit over two seasons.
Romo spent his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys, making his first start in the 2006 season. He finishes with a 78-49 record, with 34,183 passing yards, 248 touchdowns and 117 interceptions. He only played in six postseason games.
Texas Clear Cap Space, Ship Brock Osweiler to Cleveland
After an awful season with the Houston Texas, Brock Osweiler is moving on to the Cleveland Browns. According to the NFL, the Texans will save $16 million in cash and $10 million in cap space by sending Osweiler to the Browns in exchange for a 2018 second-round draft pick, and fourth- and sixth-round draft picks in 2017.
But there’s a chance Osweiler never suits up in Cleveland. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also reported that the Browns are considering cutting Osweiler unless another team wants to trade for him. Therefore, the trade ends up working out to a cash deal where the Browns paid for a second-round draft pick in 2018.
“The decision to trade Brock was made because it was in the best interest of the team. It frees up both cash and salary cap room to continue to improve our football team. We appreciate Brock’s effort and leadership while he was with us and we wish him and his family well,” Texans general manager Rick Smith said in a statement.
The Texans signed Osweiler to a huge 4-year, $72 million contract and was set to make $16 million in 2017. However, only $37 million was guaranteed and the Texans already paid him $12 million for the 2016 season.
Bears Sign Mike Glennon for Eye-Popping 3-Year, $45 Million Contract
Just before the new NFL year officially started, ESPN’s Adam Shefter reported that the Chicago Bears will sign 27-year-old Mike Glennon for three years, $45 million. The contract includes $19 million guaranteed.
That sounds like a big gamble on Glennon, who has only started in 18 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In his rookie season, he had 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his 13 starts. But Glennon hasn’t started a game in two years. He appeared in two games in 2016, completing 10 of 11 passes and throwing for one touchdown.
On March 8, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers told ESPN Wisconsin that he thinks Glennon’s huge contract should kick-start discussions about his own contract. Rodgers will earn $12.55 million in base salary in 2017 and is still under the same five-year, $110 million deal he signed four years ago, ESPN notes.
Bears Release Jay Cutler, So Jets Might be Interested
After signing Glennon, the Bears released, as expected, Jay Cutler, ESPN reported. Cutler turns 34 in April and was only in five games in 2016 because of thumb and shoulder injuries. He had shoulder surgery in December and was placed in injured reserve.
Cutler’s career in Chicago was frustrating. Although he set franchise passing records, the Bears only made it to one postseason in his eight seasons there.
Cutler started his career in Denver, then was traded to the Bears before the 2009 season. He threw 109 interceptions in his 102 games for the Bears. In 2009 alone, he threw 26 interceptions and he threw 18 in 2014. The only season he played in all 16 games for the Bears was his first one in 2009.
“I appreciate Jay’s professionalism throughout this process and throughout my two years with him here in Chicago,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said in a statement. “I will always appreciate his toughness and respect his accomplishments on the field with the Bears. He leaves here holding nearly every passing record with this storied franchise and I wish him nothing but the best going forward.”
The New York Jets might be the only team interested in Cutler. A source told the New York Post that the Jets want to get a veteran for their roster to join Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty.
ESPN also reported though that the Jets are talking with the Broncos about a trade to get Trevor Siemian. Then again, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen tweeted that there has been “some back pedal” on that conversation.