The Latest: Romo, Cowboys talk about role amid speculation

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest from the NFL's annual scouting combine in Indianapolis (all times local):


5:40 p.m.

Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday that team officials have spoken about quarterback Tony Romo's role next season.

He didn't drop any hints about whether Romo would actually be fulfilling that role this fall.

As one of the league's top trade targets, speculation has been swirling about Romo's status ever since he lost the starting job to rookie Dak Prescott last season. It's still unclear.

"He has been the ultimate professional," Garrett said. "I am sure Tony and Jerry Jones will have further discussions, and we will make a decision based on what is best for the Dallas Cowboys.

"Whatever we do, we will make a decision that is best for this franchise," Garrett added. "No decision has been made at this time."


5 p.m.

The AFC South quarterback situation is as messy as the division itself.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and the team has provided no timetable for his return. GM Chris Ballard declined to say Wednesday whether he'd be ready for the start of offseason team activities.

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota missed the end of last season with a fractured fibula and GM Jon Robinson would only say he is "doing well."

In Houston and Jacksonville, many fans want another quarterback change after watching Brock Osweiler and Blake Bortles struggle last season. While new Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said he's willing to give Bortles more time, the defending division champion Texans might not be so patient.


2:45 p.m.

The Arizona Cardinals are looking for a successor to 37-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer.

They're not in any rush because Palmer recently announced he would return this fall. But, unlike some transitions, Palmer sounds as if he's OK with the notion of grooming the Cardinals' next franchise quarterback.

"I had dinner with Carson the night before he made his decision (to return)," general manager Steve Keim said. "He told me he would be excited about working with a young quarterback, just like the opportunity he had with Jon Kitna when Carson was young."


1:00 p.m.

Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore is one step closer to testing free agency, and veteran defensive tackle Kyle Williams will return to Buffalo for a 12th season.

In the meantime, starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor's future remains uncertain.

Those were among the updates new Bills coach Sean McDermott provided Wednesday during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine.

McDermott said the Bills don't intend to place a franchise tag on Gilmore before free agency opens next week. McDermott also said that Willliams is returning after the player contemplated retirement.

Gilmore completed his fifth season in Buffalo with a team-leading five interceptions and a team-high 12 passes defensed. Gilmore has said he considers himself among the league's top cornerbacks and is seeking a long-term deal to reflect that.

Such a contract demand would price Gilmore out of Buffalo; the Bills have little room under the $167 million salary cap.

Williams is a respected team leader and a starter in Buffalo since his rookie season in 2006. He rebounded from an injury-shortened 2015 season to make five sacks in 15 games last season.

McDermott provided little update on Taylor's future. In signing Taylor to a five-year contract extension in August, the Bills retained the right to opt out of the new deal before it kicks in on March 11. Should they pick up Taylor's option, the Bills will commit more than $30 million in base salary and bonuses this season.

McDermott said the team is still evaluating Taylor.


11:45 a.m.

One day after cutting All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is keeping the door open to re-signing the longtime face of the franchise.

He's just not sure what, or how much, it might take.

"What you can't predict is what the market is going to be," Spielman said. "You may have expectations today and those expectations will change within a week. We have to be very flexible with Adrian or any of our guys that we want to sign back.

"We are very open with all our players," he continued. "We want to have all of them back if we can."

Spielman was ready for the questions about Peterson. He just wasn't expecting the first question to be about Sam Bradford.

"Wow! I bet a dollar that the first one would be about Adrian Peterson right out of the gate," Spielman joked. "I guess I lost."

Spielman also said that while injured Teddy Bridgewater is working hard to get back on the field, but there is still no timeline for a return after the promising quarterback sustained a season-ending knee injury in training camp.


11:15 a.m.

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert still doesn't know if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return next season.

He'd sure like him back — for a long time. Still, he's contemplating contingency plans.

"I hope he plays forever," Colbert said. "Chances are he will extend his career, we don't know how long it will go. But you always have to be prepared to select a quarterback at some point, and he's aware of that. We've talked about it. He understands that if we add a guy into the mix, we'll do that at some point. "

Earlier this year, Roethlisberger said he needed time to think about his future before coming back for a 14th season.


10:30 a.m.

Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn got right to the point when he stepped to the podium at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.

He brought up the subject of watching tape of the Super Bowl, in which the New England Patriots came back from a 25-point deficit to defeat the Falcons 34-28 in overtime. And he quickly dispelled any notion that he's over it.

"Yes, I am past it, but I'm not over it," Quinn said. "And I never will be."


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