NFL Veterans Struggle to Find New Teams: Romo Calls it a Career; Peterson Unable to Land Gig

Rob Nightingale

Over the last month, the Tony Romo saga has basically been a never-ending cycle of repetitive SportsCenter updates. Various rumors have had Romo landing with nearly every team in the league and even joining the CBS or Fox NFL broadcast booth. 

At the beginning of free agency, news broke that the Dallas Cowboys would cut Tony Romo, allowing him to freely choose his new team and freeing $14 million in salary cap for the 2017 season. This move seemed extremely logical due to the meteoric rise of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott over this past season and the fact that Tony Romo is the most injury-prone athlete in all of sports.  

Seriously though, I am waiting for doctors to reveal that Romo was the first human ever born with glass bones. And yet, for reasons that are beyond my conception of sanity, the Cowboys still have Romo on their roster up until April 4. If they decided to keep Romo on the team for the 2017 season it would more or less equate to the Cowboys throwing $14 million into the trash.  

It may very well have been Jerry Jones’ intention to trade Romo for almost anything in return. However, Romo has decided to hang it up and retire. This move came as a surprise to many, but it seems to make sense for Romo. 

He will assume a major analyst position at CBS, replacing Hall of Fame New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms as the top guy. Jones’ love for Romo is no secret, and he recently doubled down on his affinity for the former quarterback by calling him “one of the greatest players in Cowboys history.” This is high praise considering Romo has not even appeared in an NFC Championship game in his career and follows the legacy of Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. With Romo out of the way officially, the Cowboys are placing their trust in Prescott. Jones hopes a Super Bowl is in the near future.

Like Romo, running back Adrian Peterson is a player who is far past his prime while looking for a new team and also has an extensive injury history. Peterson was released by the Vikings and is thus a free agent who can sign with any team. Yet, working against Peterson are not only his seventy-year-old knees but also the complete lack of demand for running backs in the NFL currently. 

A massive increase in the focus and frequency of the passing game, coupled with the use of multiple running backs during drives, has diminished the value and subsequently squashed the demand of three down backs in the NFL. 

Making matters harder for Peterson is the strength of this year’s draft with backs like Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey expected to be starters in the NFL next year. All these factors tied together have resulted in 2017 free agent running backs like Eddie Lacy and Latavius Murray signing minor deals with few guarantees and big names like Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles still searching for a new team. Peterson is visiting with the New England Patriots on Monday and has expressed that playing with a championship contender is just as important as the money.