Why Woody Johnson, Jets should resist the Tony Romo temptation

The elephant in Woody Johnson’s room is dynamic, dazzling and, frankly, damaged goods.

It’s no secret that the billionaire boss man in the Jets universe craves star power at the most important position in the sport, but he must resist the temptation to fall into the biggest booby trap out there this offseason: Tony Romo.

Romo, banished to irrelevance by a rookie wunderkind who has the Cowboys riding high again, won’t be back with Dallas next season. He’ll play out his days half-heartedly waving pom-poms and “cheering” on Dak Prescott from the bench, prompting inquiring minds to predict his next destination.

The Jets are in the conversation because of their eternal quarterback plight.

Mike Maccagnan’s “competitive rebuild” model calls for the impossible. Winning now and building for the future given the porous roster that he inherited was never going to work. He got a little lucky last season, but the quandary remains: Who the heck will be the Jets signal caller of the future?

With Dak Prescott (l.) emerging as a big star in Dallas, Tony Romo's days with Cowboys could be numbered.

With Dak Prescott (l.) emerging as a big star in Dallas, Tony Romo’s days with Cowboys could be numbered.

(Michael Ainsworth/AP)

If Bryce Petty underwhelms over the next two months, Romo could be a band-aid given his talent and experience, but the Jets should resist the urge to trade for the 36-year-old four-time Pro Bowler.

Johnson needs to let his general manager handle this one by himself. For the love of the football gods, do not – under any circumstances – get involved, Woody.

The last thing anyone on One Jets Drive needs is for Johnson to interfere. Remember, this is the same man who once uttered these words: “I think you can never have too much Tebow.”


DEC. 14, 2008, FILE PHOTO

Brett Favre spends a forgettable season with the Jets in 2008.

(Kathy Willens/AP)

The quarterback decision is simply too important for this regime to be influenced by an owner looking for a big splash.

Eight years ago, Johnson had a warm and fuzzy feeling when the Jets landed Brett Favre in the biggest trade in franchise history. The move grabbed headlines, generated buzz and early success before the 39-year-old gunslinger flamed out with a biceps tendon injury. It amounted to a lot of chatter and no playoff appearance.

The Jets were in an eerily similar position back then. Eric Mangini won 10 games as a rookie head coach like Todd Bowles before going 4-12 in his second season. These 3-7 Jets are destined for a similar fate. Favre gave Johnson the headlines and relevance he was searching for much like Romo would do if he came to town.

The short-term gains by bringing in an aging quarterback wouldn’t truly solve anything. There’s little doubt that Romo can still be productive when healthy. He’s 16-5 in 21 games in the past two seasons with 43 touchdowns, only 16 interceptions and a playoff win. He led the NFL in passer rating, completion percentage and yards per attempt in his last full season in 2014.

Woody Johnson needs to avoid being seduced by another aging quarterback past his prime.

Woody Johnson needs to avoid being seduced by another aging quarterback past his prime.

(Michael Adamucci/Getty Images)

Romo has a career 80-53 record in 12 seasons, success that dwarves the production from the litany of signal-calling scrubs throughout Jets history. He probably could put derrieres in the seats for a franchise craving more season ticket holders.

He also has proven to be brittle behind the league’s unquestioned best offensive line with two different back injuries and a pair of collarbone fractures in the past couple years. Just imagine which body parts Romo would snap behind a less-than-stellar Jets offensive line. It’s cringe-worthy stuff.

The Jets would have to restructure the remaining three years of Romo’s exorbitant contract for any possibility of a union. He’s scheduled to earn $14 million with a $24.7 million cap hit for the Cowboys next season. Would the Jets – or any team – actually give up a mid-round draft pick for an injury-prone, pricey 36-year-old quarterback?

Dallas would absorb a $19.6 million cap hit by cutting Romo before June 1, 2017. Jerry Jones isn’t that financially foolish.

The Jets still need to figure out what they have in young QBs like Bryce Petty.

The Jets still need to figure out what they have in young QBs like Bryce Petty.

(Seth Wenig/AP)

The dead money charge would drop to a manageable $10.7 million if the team designated him as a post-June 1 cut. The marketplace might broaden for Romo at that point, but you’d have to believe that the Jets would have either signed an affordable veteran to compete with their youngsters or drafted a signal caller in the first round by then. So, bringing in Romo would make little sense.

Maccagnan needs to properly evaluate Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Petty’s two-month audition for the remainder of the season might clear up part of the picture. The GM will need to give Hackenberg his chance too. Along the way, he might plug in a competent veteran, but there’s no reason to invest real money or draft picks for Romo.

Johnson will absorb some painful body blows along the way. MetLife Stadium might be a ghost town during the final four home games. There will be little buzz, hype or chatter around his team, but he needs to understand that making a big offseason quarterback splash will be fool’s gold.

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Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News

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