Romo or Rivers?

By Marc Mandell

Should the Broncos take a serious look at Tony Romo or Phillip Rivers? Should they attempt to catch lightening in a bottle again after the Peyton Manning experiment? Will one of these top QB’s come in and take Denver back to the promised land? Or, should they keep what they have, and try to build on it? Look, Lynch is Elway’s guy in the long run, and regardless if Lynch is ready or not this year, The Duke will take a look at all options. Rivers and Romo are worth the serious look. Here’s why.

The offensive line for Denver next year isn’t going to be very different from the last one we just mercifully watched come to an end this year. The talent in the free agent market for O-linemen is going to be pretty weak. What’s more, is that Denver is not the only team that needs much improved O-line play. The draft isn’t looking much better either folks. So, if one was to spend, say 13-18 million dollars, would you spend it on a couple of shaky free agents, that after all, were let go of by another team? Or would you spend it on a top 8 QB, and try to replicate what happened here in the mile high city the previous couple of seasons? A good quarter back can cover a lot of deficiencies.

Tony Romo and Phillip Rivers could be available this off season. Romo more likely than Rivers, but you never know. Rivers has mentioned that he likes San Diego, and isn’t super pumped to move to the enormous metropolis of LA. I can’t really blame him to be honest. So for now, let’s focus on the more achievable goal of Romo.

Now before you say the same thing everyone else is saying in regards to Tony, “he can’t stay healthy, he will get injured by the third snap of the game”, keep this in mind: two years ago he broke his collar bone. An injury that takes a 20 year-old 6-8 weeks to heal from. The Cowboys put the slinger back in the saddle right at 8 weeks. He’s not a  20 year-old anymore, and for those of us over the age of say, 25, know that healing takes longer the older one gets. Sometimes, well most times, annoyingly longer. So the ‘Boys put him back in after just 8 weeks, and shocker, he re-injures the collar bone. Done for the year. Last year, the Cowboys put in Romo in game 4 of the pre-season, and took a lick from Kam Chancellor and hurt his back. Done for the year. The former was poor planning on Dallas’ behalf, the latter was poor planning on Dallas’ behalf. Romo shouldn’t have played after just 8 weeks of healing, and had no business playing in a completely meaningless pre-season game.

Now before the past two seasons, Romo had only missed two games in 4 seasons. Those two that he missed weren’t even in the same season! In those previous 4 seasons, 2010-2014, he averaged 4,055 yards per season, 31 TD’s p/s and 67% completion rating. Most of those stats were padded by an outstanding 2014 season. He can still sling it, even at 36 years old. In week 17 against the Eagles, he came in for one drive, remember? He looked really good. I know, I know, just one drive, but it showed that he could still get the ball down the field, and command an offense. And whether you want to admit it or not, one, this topic isn’t going away any time soon, and two, he is still far better than anyone else on the Broncos roster at this time at the QB position. Besides, Denver only needs him for 2 years or so. Just be open to it is all I ask. Dallas can’t keep him, and they can’t trade him. His salary cap is too big to be traded. Don’t let that scare you either. The cap can be massaged to work. He will hit the market, and you can be sure Elway is keeping his ears up about him.

Next is Phillip Rivers. This one….this one I just refuse to get on board with. He has been a division rival for so long. Even with his own personal talent, he has never gotten his team, well, anywhere. Sure he has a great completion rating, and he has the shortest delivery of anyone in the NFL, but it’s Phillip Rivers! Any Broncos fan has both hated and ridiculed him mercilessly. All emotion aside, he just doesn’t have the “it” factor. He clams up at the end of games and struggles to finish strong.

The other side to Rivers here is that his former HC, Mike McCoy, is now the OC for Denver. Rivers had the best years of his career under McCoy. Not to mention all the injuries that San Diego sustained last season. He still threw for, 4,386 yards and 33 TD’s, without Keenan Allen, the star WR, or Danny Woodhead, an excellent pass catching RB. Rivers was throwing to guys like Dontrelle Inman, Hunter Henry and former Browns stand out, Travis Benjamin. Not an all-star crew right? As much as I can’t stand Rivers, he is top-tier talent, who is dedicated and driven. I just can’t see him in a Broncos uniform, you know what I mean.

I think Denver should take a real good look at Romo. I like Siemian, I do, he showed so much last season, but it’s obvious that Elway and Co want to move on to Lynch. They want to move on simply because Elway wants it, because to Elway, Lynch is the future of this franchise. However, in the meantime, while Paxton tries to improve his shaky, marginal game, Denver should bring in Romo, and give a real go at getting back to the SuperBowl. If Romo gets hurt, than Denver is right back where they started. No worse off. I think it’s worth the risk. The reward far out weighs the potential risk.

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