DENVER -- Spring training became an afterthought. The Rockies played in front of me at Salt River Fields, and my phone was humming like a fastball. About the Broncos. Peyton Manning was nearing a free agent decision and my small sliver of involvement in the story was to glean insight from his friend and Rockies first baseman Todd Helton.
Helton liked the Broncos' chances, believing Manning would sign with an AFC team (in the conference opposite of his brother Eli), and he doubted Tennessee's chances. Helton was right. So were the Broncos. In arguably the NFL's greatest free agent signing, Manning went 45-12 as a starter, threw 140 touchdowns and won five playoff games, including Super Bowl 50.
Prior to Manning, the Broncos had won two playoff games since 1999. It coincided with John Elway's retirement. The Broncos missed the playoffs last season, and again find themselves in the national center of a quarterback vortex. Pundits believe the Broncos offer the best landing spot for Tony Romo, if and when he's released by the Dallas Cowboys. I fully expect Denver to express interest in Romo if he becomes a free agent, which would allow for the massaging of his contract if he wants to be a Bronco. I believe Houston makes more sense, but Denver will remain in the conversation until there is resolution with Romo.
Romo brings risk, starting five games and playing 222 snaps over the past two seasons because of multiple colllarbone breaks and a serious back injury. He turns 37 on April 21. Romo owns a 2-4 playoff record, last appearing in the 2014 season when he participated in 927 snaps. There is not the same buzz at Dove Valley as when Manning's situation unfolded. The Broncos went all in for Manning. Denver's situation is different now given its public confidence in reigning starter Trevor Siemian and last year's first-round pick Paxton Lynch. And to bring in Romo without upgrades along the offensive line would seem counterintuitive given the veteran could not stay healthy behind arguably the league's best line in Dallas.
But again, Romo speculation will tie to the Broncos until his next destination is official. Vegas likes his chances of landing in Denver. The odds courtesy of Bovada. Feel free to discuss among friends.
Whose roster will Tony Romo be on for Game 1 of the 2017 Regular Season?
Denver Broncos 3/1
Kansas City Chiefs 7/2
Houston Texans 5/1
Dallas Cowboys 6/1
Chicago Bears 15/2
Buffalo Bills 10/1
New York Jets 10/1
Jacksonville Jaguars 12/1
Miami Dolphins 12/1
San Francisco 49ers 12/1