As we all sit and wait for the inevitable release of Tony Romo up in Dallas (which will truly be the first big quarterback domino to fall this offseason), other small-to-medium-size nuggets of QB news hit the market, and it becomes very evident just how quarterback-starved the city of Houston has been. EVERYONE on the menu not named Brock Osweiler looks reasonably tasty right now!
The best analogy I can make is actually not my analogy at all. It comes from comedian Eddie Murphy in his stand-up comedy special Raw, in which he compares the sensation you feel when you haven't had sex in several months to being stranded on a desert island. Basically, he says, when you're stranded, even the most mundane of food (like a cracker) tastes AMAZING...
Now, replace Mad Lib-style "sex" with "solid QB play," and replace "several months" with "since Matt Schaub was competent," and you have the average Texans fan's current situation. It's been quarterback starvation, I say! How else do you explain my actual, real-life enthusiasm when Charlie Campbell of the website Walter Football reports this:
"[Chicago Bears QB Jay] Cutler likes the situation in Houston with a No. 1 receiver in DeAndre Hopkins, a fast secondary receiver in Will Fuller, the eighth-ranked rushing offense led by Lamar Miller, and the No. 1 defense in the NFL. While Cutler has had issues with interceptions in his career, many around the league believe he would be an upgrade over Texans' 2016 starter Brock Osweiler, who struggled with interceptions and a lack of accuracy last year. Cutler would bring more accuracy and experience to the position with the arm to push the ball vertically to Hopkins and Fuller. Via safety K.J. Dillon, Houston's training staff also has experience working with players who are type-1 diabetics like Cutler."
Yes, you heard me...JAY FREAKING CUTLER...the Jay Cutler who's made one Pro Bowl in 11 seasons (and that one was nine seasons ago!). The Jay Cutler who has had roughly 1,000 memes made up about his sourpuss face and abysmal body language. The Jay Cutler who has an entire Tumblr account dedicated to pictures of him with cigarettes photoshopped in.
The Jay Cutler who does awesome stuff like this...
Cutler is not available yet. As with the Cowboys and Romo, the Bears are seeking all possible trade options for Cutler before releasing him. They're unlikely to find a trade partner. To be clear, I've never been a fan of Jay Cutler, but before 2017, I'd also never rooted for a team that's started eight different quarterbacks in three seasons. My hatred for "mediocre" has, at least temporarily, made me thirst for the tease of Cutler's arm talent.
This is what you've done to me, Brock Osweiler...you've made the Texans' signing Jay Cutler to a short-term (one or two years) deal okay. So as of March 7, here's where I am with the stack rankings of potentially available quarterbacks to start in Week 1 of the 2017 season for the Texans:
1. Tony Romo (free agent signing after likely Cowboys release)
The latest news on Romo consists of an outlandish three-team trade (with Washington and San Francisco) that will never, ever happen, and a story of Jerry Jones essentially saying Romo will agree not to sign with certain teams if he is released. One hopes Houston isn't one of those teams.
2. Jimmy Garoppolo (trade with New England)
Solves the short term and the long term, if he's good. If he's not, then it cost you some draft equity and, possibly, some big cap dollars, if they sign him to an extension before the 2017 season. (Better to trade for him, then leverage the franchise tag for 2018.)
3. Jay Cutler (free agent after likely release by the Bears)
The good...a rocket for an arm, can make all the throws, essentially all of the things that have teased two teams into giving him collectively more than $100 million. Also, it would be amazing for web content. The bad...in 11 years, Cutler's never had a great season. That kind of matters.
4. Tyrod Taylor (free agent after POSSIBLE release by the Bills)
I'd actually put Taylor in front of Cutler based on talent, but I don't know if I trust O'Brien to squeeze all the playmaking out of Taylor that would be available. Taylor's strengths are predicated on movement and his legs, and that doesn't feel like a real "O'Brien kind of thing."
5. Tom Savage (on the current roster)
"Tommy's been in the system, he's a good guy, a good teammate, really diligent, studies hard, attentive in meetings..." Sorry, I'm just preparing for the inevitable O'Brien press conference when Savage is named the starter for Week 1.
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6. Drafted Rookie (drafted in first or second round)
Watson, Kizer, Trubisky are all likely gone by the 25th pick. Mahomes may be there, or they could take Nathan Peterman in the second round.
7. Colin Kaepernick (free agent...who now stands for the anthem!)
Kaepernick announces he is standing for the anthem this season, just as he is about to hit free agency. Smoooooootttthhhhh...
8. Any recycled O'Brien discard (Fitzpatrick, Hoyer, Keenum, Mallett)
9. A broomstick with a bucket for a head
10. Brock Osweiler
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.