Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

It’s a No Brainer: Stick with Cutler

Posted by mizzou1028 on March 2, 2009

First, my apologies for the long delay between posts.  That’s what dental surgery will do to you.

I would like to say that I am generally pleased with the Broncos offseason movement (especially the signings of Brian Dawkins and Correll Buckhalter), but I am very, very disturbed by the latest saga involving Matt Cassel going to the Chiefs.  This is not in any way because I am concerned about Cassel landing in KC, but because of the ripple effects and rumors that happen to involve the Broncos.  This is the background, or at least as concise a summary as I could find.  Basically, in trying to digest information from all of the reports out there, it seems that the Buccaneers called the Broncos, and inquired about getting Jay Cutler.  This would make sense for Tampa Bay because they are in desperate need of a quarterback after jettisoning Jeff Garcia.  Depending on the report, it seems that the Lions and Patriots were also involved in the discussions about a potential multi-team deal.  I’m not sure exactly what the deal would have been for sure, but the root of the rumor seems to be that Cutler would have ended up in Tampa, Cassel in Denver, and perhaps Tony Scheffler going to Detroit and maybe the Broncos first round pick (12th overall) to New England.  There were also reports of other various draft picks being exchanged, including Detroit’s number one overall selection going somewhere if they landed with Cutler instead of the Buccaneers.  

Of course this is all rumor and didn’t happen, so the rumors should be a moot point.  Conversations like this happen all the time.  Most people don’t know that John Elway was thisclose to being traded to Washington following the 1991 season.  This is when Dan Reeves and Elway were really butting heads and ultimately the Broncos chose to keep Elway and they fired Reeves.  The point is that a conversation does not mean a trade is imminent or even on the table.  If I am the GM of an NFL team, and I was stuck with Dan Orlovsky or Brian Griese at quarterback, of course I’m going to call every team to see if I could maybe swing a deal for their QB.  Just because the Broncos take the call and chat doesn’t mean they’re necessarily going to be eager to deal.  In this case, the Broncos very wisely decided that they would rather not make the deal, and now Cassel is in Kansas City (along with Mike Vrabel), and the Patriots got a second round pick for him in exchange.  Cutler is still the quarterback of the Broncos.  As the attached link indicates though, Cutler is very upset about being mentioned in trade rumors at all, and now the pressure is on Josh McDaniels and Brian Xanders to repair the relationship with their quarterback immediately if not sooner.  This needs to happen today.  

Now, if at any point at all Josh McDaniels thought he would rather have Cassel than Cutler, then he seriously needs to get his head examined.  I realize McDaniels and Cassel have a working relationship, and perhaps the new Broncos coach would be more comfortable with Cassel than he would be with an unknown commodity Cutler, who frankly has shown to have an attitude problem at times.  The thing is, I don’t think anyone who knows anything about football could make a rational argument that Cassel is a better quarterback than Cutler.  Admittedly, Cutler has shown at times to make bad decisions (witness his 18 picks last year), but he really came a long way overall in his third season.  He made the Pro Bowl after setting franchise single season records for yards and touchdowns, and his ability and potential have still yet to be completely tapped.  He even said that he was over his disappointment over the Mike Shanahan firing, and was really excited to work with McDaniels.  Cassel had one good year, but was it him? Or was it the system in New England?  Was it actually McDaniels working with him that made the difference?  Besides, wasn’t it McDaniels ability to work with quarterbacks that was one of the biggest selling points of him getting the job?  Wasn’t one of the biggest reasons he was hired was so that he could work with Cutler and help control his on-field decision making and attitude?  

From Cutler’s perspective, if he is really that bent out shape about being mentioned in a rumor, than he frankly needs to grow up.  It seems that the Broncos weren’t actively shopping him around, but rather were listening to other teams that called.  Frankly the management team of any franchise should always listen, because you never know.  What Cutler should realize is the Broncos decided not to deal him in the end, so regardless of whether McDaniels was flirting with the idea of Cassel or not, he ultimately decided against it.  So it would be very immature of Cutler to demand a trade now.  I think ultimately this relationship can be repaired, but the damage control needs to be done now, and certainly by draft day.  

I really think that what happened here is that the Broncos’ were not the initiators of these discussions.  I believe other teams (specifcally Detroit and Tampa) called the Broncos making an offer or offers.  I believe some deals may have been discussed, but McDaniels and Xanders were not behind it.  I believe they listened and discussed, and maybe even got to stage of drafting a potential deal, but of course they decided not to act on it.  Cutler needs to realize that just because another team called the Broncos and asked about him, and just because a deal may have been floated, does not mean that the Broncos want to get rid of him.  Obviously they don’t, because they declined the deal.  The Broncos staff however needs to realize that their franchise quarterback is a very sensitive individual, and perhaps should have more clearly and unequivocally denied the rumors if indeed they are on board with Cutler staying.  Frankly, unless the name on the other end of the conversation is Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, or Ben Roethlisberger (maybe a couple of others), the Broncos should say thanks but no thanks and hang up the phone.  Of course it is McDaniels’ prerogative if he really thinks that Cassel would have been a better fit, but it would have really concerned me to see Cutler traded and Cassel plugged in.  Jay Cutler is a better quarterback than Matt Cassel, period.  This doesn’t mean that Cassel won’t find success in Kansas City, for he just might be good fit there, but I would rather have Cutler any day of the week.  If my team’s quarterback was Tyler Thigpen, I would be excited to get Cassel, I just wouldn’t want to get rid of Cutler to get him.  I just hope now that Cutler isn’t so disgruntled that he gets traded somewhere and becomes a star, while the Broncos are still looking for a quarterback in five years.   I implore McDaniels and Xanders to repair this damage quickly.  The last thing the Broncos want is an unhappy Culter counting down to his free agency eligibility.

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2 Responses to “It’s a No Brainer: Stick with Cutler”

  1. Doug Baker said

    Very, very nice post. Well done. I don’t think Denver would have traded Cutler unless they were getting a boatload in return for him. And I totally agree with your comment Culter needs to grow up. When the Broncos got rid of Shanahan and their GM, that’s like the owner saying let’s clean house. Cutler needs to quit being a crybaby. People who have been with their company much longer than Cutler has have been laid off left and right in this economy and they have less money to fall back on and no sure prospects for jobs as he does. Kind of irritates me about these millionaire athletes. Others should be so lucky.

  2. mizzou1028 said

    Agreed that Cutler is being a crybaby. You make a great point about the economy aspect of it. Many in the sports world need to get a serious grip (Scott Boras and Manny Ramirez anyone?).

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