By WOODY PAIGE
When is the NFL trade dealine? It’s 4 p.m. Tuesday at the home office in New York.
Should the Broncos trade for Tony Romo?
That $8.5 million (his salary this year) question seems to be the most popular as the NFL trade deadline approaches.
One somewhat rational media type in Denver already has recommended that the Broncos acquire Romo from the Cowboys and give up starting quarterback Trevor Siemian. At least two other national media types also have suggested the Broncos should go after the veteran quarterback, who supposedly would be available because of the amazing progress and success of rookie Dak Prescott.
Stupidity wears many costumes on Halloween.
Even though I really like Romo personally, spending some quality time with him at an off-season golf tournament at Lake Tahoe, and I’d like to see him follow in Peyton’s Path in Denver, there’s no way in Hades, or high water, that he’ll be with the Broncos before they travel to Oakland next week. Nor should he be.
Start with the salary matter. The Broncos are so close enough to the salary cap they really can’t take on Romo’s salary, which balloons to $14 million next season and $19,500,000 in 2018. They just removed Peyton Manning from the books, and there was Brock Osweiler’s financial goings-on.
Romo is teacher’s pet. Owner/general manager/head coach-in-reality Jerry Jones loves Romo, and won’t give him up. And what if Prescott were injured, does anybody think the Cowboys want to play Mark Sanchez when the Broncos didn’t want to?
So, stop it. No Romo.Tony
The Broncos are fine, not great, at quarterback, and that’s not the problem.
Offensive line, tight end, now a running back.
Those are the three areas the Broncos must discuss and do something about for the second half of the season if they are to hold off the Raiders and the Chiefs in the AFC West, and if they are to have any chance against the Patriots in the conference, and to have any possibility of repeating as Super Bowl champions.
I would even add wide receiver. What? The Broncos have gotten virtually no production from their backup receivers. “”Sunshine’’ Taylor has been no light. Cody Latimer is an injury waiting to happen every week, and he never has developed into a competent catcher. Bennie Fowler, since his pre-season injury, has not been the clutch receiver the Broncos had last year. And, let’s be frank, Jordan Norwood hasn’t peed a drop since his record punt return in the Super Bowl.
The priorities, though, are the other positions.
The Broncos did pick up a veteran back tight end from the Patriots the other day, but does anybody really think the Patriots were trying to do the Broncos a favor? And the Patriots love good tight ends more than Belichick loves throwing Microsoft Surfaces.
The Broncos should approach the Browns once again for a deal on offensive tackle Joe Thomas AND tight end Gary Barnidge. Thomas keeps declaring he doesn’t want to be traded, but once he got to the Broncos and in Denver, he’d be thrilled. And Barnidge is a quality veteran tight end, the guy the Broncos are missing, who is making only $1.5 million this year (or about $750,000 for the half season).
The Broncos already have traded away fifth, six and seven round picks in next year’s draft, so they will be selection thin. But they could give the Broncos a second and a fourth for those two players who would start right away.
Thomas moves in at left tackle; Russell Okung goes to right tackle, and Donald Stephenson switches to guard. He’s been a guard as much as a tackle since coming into the league. With Matt Paradis, who has graded out well every week except one, at center, the Broncos would have three other veterans on the line for the stretch run. And they got to the Super Bowl with three veterans on the line last year.
If the Broncos can’t get Thomas, they must get Joe Staley from the 49ers.
What about running back without C.J. Anderson? I know. They have the Devontae Booker, the rookie, and Kapri Bibbs, the double redshirt rookie. But that’s not enough. There are two options available that would make sense for the Broncos. DeMarco Murray, now with the Titans, could fit immediately, and he’d love Gary Kubiak’s system. And Darren McFadden is returning from injury, and the Cowboys have no use or spot for him. The Broncos could give up a contingency draft pick.
The Broncos are having injury issues now and don’t want to get stuck in the second half.
No Romo. Yes Staley or Thomas.
John Elway needs to jump down from high horse and act before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
(Woody Paige is the proprietor of woodypaige.com. He has been a professional journalist for 50 years — having served as a sports and general columnist at one weekly newspaper when he was a teenager, and with five major daily newspapers in Tennessee (Knoxville Journal and The Commercial Appeal in Memphis) and Colorado (the Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post and The Gazette in Colorado Springs). He has won more than 150 writing and column awards, was named one of America’s top journalists by several magazines and websites, has been the recipient of APSE writing awards and received the University of Tennessee’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Lambda Chi Alpha’s most prestigious award and the American Suicide Awareness Society highest media award. He has written or co-authored nine books, including three national best-sellers, and he was a daily radio talk show host for more than a quarter of a century. He has appeared on the major network morning shows on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, and has been a regular commentor on the hit ESPN daily program ”Around The Horn” for 14 years. He also worked with Skip Bayless for three years on the ESPN hit show “”Cold Pizza” and was on the daily show “”First Take” and served as a judge for three seasons on the ESPN reality show “”Dream Job.” He has covered more than 40 Super Bowls, more than 20 World Series, more than 15 Olympics and more than 200 other major sports events. He currently is a columnist for gazette.com and the denverchannel.com and woodypaige.com, and is a twice-weekly commentator on Denver7 News. He appeared in the movies “”Rocky Balboa” and ”Nebraska” and on the TV show “”Playmakers”.