9:11 AM ET
- Sarah BarshopESPN Staff Writer Close
- Covered the Packers for ESPN Milwaukee
- Marquette University graduate
The widely speculated option for the Texans is Tony Romo, who is still under contract with the Dallas Cowboys while being widely linked to the Texans and Denver Broncos, either by a trade or after he is released. There also have been reports that Fox is interested in Romo as an analyst if he is done playing.
The Texans are more interested in Romo if he is an available free agent and reportedly do not want to trade for him. Romo, who turns 37 next month, has an extensive injury history and has played in only five games in the past two seasons.
So if Romo doesn’t work out, either because he doesn’t want to play football, chooses Denver, or the price is not right for the Texans, who else is out there? The smart money has the Texans turning to Tom Savage and drafting a quarterback. But if they did need to sign a veteran, who is still available?
Tom Savage: One option for the Texans is to go with the guy already on their roster. Savage played well at times in his two starts for Houston last season, but he is still an unknown commodity because he hasn’t had many opportunities to start. Savage was injured in 2014 and 2015 and didn’t have the option to win the starting job last season after the Texans signed Osweiler. Even if Houston signs Romo, given his injury history, they will need a reliable backup. That should be Savage.
2017 draft pick: With the No. 25 pick in the draft, it won’t be easy for the Texans to trade up if they see the guys they want falling off the board. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, UNC’s Mitch Trubisky and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer are widely expected to be taken fairly early on Day 1. The Texans could draft Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes if they believe he is worthy of that pick. But if they don’t get Romo, they could find it necessary to make sure they get their guy, regardless what they have to do to trade up.
Jay Cutler: Cutler has a very strong arm and would be able to take advantage of the Texans’ offensive weapons, but he might clash with head coach Bill O’Brien. Although he is the biggest name on the market after Romo, I can’t see him being the right fit in Houston.
Jimmy Garoppolo: The fourth-year player is not a free agent, but because he is playing behind Tom Brady, there was speculation that he would be available in a trade. However, since then, the Patriots’ asking price is reportedly two first-round picks (2017 and 2018), which is too much for the Texans. Houston already doesn’t have a second-round pick in 2018 after including it in the trade of Osweiler.
Robert Griffin III: Like Romo, Griffin spent last season injured, but Griffin has a lot less upside. In five games, he completed 59.2 percent of his passes for two touchdowns and three interceptions. Griffin, a former Heisman Trophy winner at Baylor, has a history of serious knee injuries and it would not make sense for Houston to sign him.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzpatrick has a history in Houston and could return. But Fitzpatrick’s days as a starter are likely over after posting a league-low 69.6 passer rating last season. Fitzpatrick already said he would not be returning to the New York Jets, but he could be a reliable backup somewhere next season. That’s probably not what Houston needs, though, unless they turn to Savage and don't draft a quarterback, so it’s tough to see him returning to the Texans.
The rest of the field: Colin Kaepernick, Mark Sanchez, Aaron Murray, Chase Daniel, Josh McCown, Case Keenum, Shaun Hill, Matt McGloin, EJ Manuel, Blaine Gabbert, Geno Smith, Dan Orlovsky, Josh Johnson, Christian Ponder, Thaddeus Lewis, T.J. Yates, Kellen Moore, Ryan Nassib, David Fales, Bruce Gradkowski, Austin Davis and Charlie Whitehurst.