Tony Romo said goodbye to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday even though the team had yet to release him as free agency deal signings began for the NFL's 2017 season.
Romo, the Cowboys quarterback who has struggled with injuries in recent campaigns, was demoted in favor of rookie Dak Prescott last season. With a hefty $14 million salary cap hit for next season, the Cowboys figured to release him.
But Romo was not immediately dropped by the Cowboys, who could be trying to swing a trade deal to obtain something in exchange for the 36-year-old signal caller who took over as the Dallas starter in 2006.
Romo took to Instagram to post a video message of thanks to his supporters even as his fate hung in the air.
"Thanks for all the support everyone," Romo tweeted, adding on Instagram, "Thanks for everything cowboy nation."
In the video, Romo had Bob Dylan's song "The Times They Are A-Changin'" playing in the background as he spoke.
"It has been a crazy 48 hours here," Romo said. "We've felt the support and love from everyone. It has been overwhelming. We've got a lot to think about going forward. We'll see what happens."
The Denver Broncos, who took a chance on an older injury-hit quarterback in Peyton Manning and were rewarded with a Super Bowl trip in 2014 and a title last year, were said to be in the mix for obtaining Romo, whether through a deal or in a free agent signing.
Also in the hunt would be the Houston Texans, who freed up a roster spot behind center and money by trading quarterback Brock Osweiler to the Cleveland Browns.
The move saves the Texans some $10 million salary cap room and $16 million in guaranteed salary, both of which could be used on Romo.
The Browns, coming off an NFL-worst 1-15 season, are expected to release Osweiler if they cannot trade him rather than count upon him as the solution to their quarterback woes.
DeSean Jackson, who caught 56 passes for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns last season for Washington, signed a three-year free agent deal with Tampa Bay for $33.5 million, $20 million of it guaranteed.
"It's rare to find a player in free agency with the combination of speed and natural playmaking ability of a DeSean Jackson," said Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht. "DeSean is a smart, gifted athlete who has averaged more than 17 yards per reception throughout his nine-year career and brings the type of veteran experience and deep threat receiving ability that will have an immediate impact on our offense."
Third-year Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston, eighth in the NFL in touchdown throws last season, gained a new top target and served notice the Buccaneers are ready to make a move in the National Conference after missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record last year.
Alshon Jeffery, who caught 52 passes for 821 yards last season with Chicago, signed a one-year deal for $14 million with Philadelphia.
Former Green Bay defensive back Micah Hyde inked a five-year deal worth $30 million with Buffalo while safety Reshad Jones signed a five-year contract extension with Miami.