Now that Tony Romo’s going to be Jim Nantz’s wingman, the real question left wafting in the air is this: What the hell are the Houston Texans going to do?
Last month, when the Texans stuffed Brock Osweiler into a padlocked steam trunk and shipped him to the Cleveland Browns in what was essentially an exchange for cap space, the widespread assumption was that Houston was clearing the deck to make room for Romo. It seemed logical—Romo, at 36, could be that perfect bridge QB to help buy the Texans at least another year to figure their shit out—and it appeared to be all the more likely in recent weeks as the Denver Broncos let it be known they weren’t going to pursue Romo. Now what?
The only two quarterbacks currently on the Texans’ roster are Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden. Savage has made just two starts in three seasons, and Weeden’s career highlight across five seasons has been this high praise from Jerry Jones that everyone laughed at. There are already reports that the Texans like Savage but that their real concerns are about his health. But it’s also not hard to remember head coach Bill O’Brien on Hard Knocks dismissing media qualms about Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer with the words, “Both those kids can play.”
This year’s meager free-agent crop is already pretty-well picked over, with Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, and Ryan Fitzpatrick all still kind of sitting there like some sad, neglected department store display that’s long out of season.
The Texans have the No. 25 pick in the draft, and they could trade up, but no one in this year’s quarterback class is projected to be an instant, impactful NFL starter. This is a team with a good defense and talent at the skill positions, and it’s not crazy to think that they are one piece away from being a real contender. The problem is that one piece—a good quarterback—is the hardest thing to come by in the NFL these days. The fact that a 36-year-old, injury prone passer coming off a season on the bench was looked at as a potential savior tells you all you need to know about how desperate teams are for good quarterback play.
Yeah, the Texans are screwed, though ex-NFL team executive Joe Banner’s got a pretty good idea: