Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Cutler Follow Up

Posted by mizzou1028 on March 4, 2009

Perhaps this story is finally showing signs of having a resolution.  Jay Cutler and Josh McDaniels have scheduled a meeting, presumably one where they will try to iron out their differences and move forward.  The Broncos have once again made it clear that they have no intention of trading Jay Cutler.  Their unequivocal statement coming from owner Pat Bowlen himself should put any other silly rumors to rest (including one I saw today that had Cutler and a draft pick going to Cleveland for Brady Quinn and Shaun Rodgers.  Please).  What we’ll never know is how serious the Broncos actually were in making a run at Matt Cassel, and whether they initiated the discussions or considered a move after another team proposed it.  Whether or not they considered it or discussed it should be completely irrelevant.  The point is the deal for Cassel was not made for whatever reason, and the Patriots sent him to Kansas City instead.  The only reason this became a story is Cutler’s reaction.  If Cutler hadn’t complained to the media about his feelings, this would be a complete non-story.  The fact that Cutler got wind of the discussion means that someone leaked the details of the talks to him, but he should realize it’s not unusual for any player’s name to be bantered about in talks.  Just because a player’s name comes up, it does not mean a deal is around the corner.  

It seems as though what we have here is a situation that happens more often than is actually reported in sports. Team A calls team B to talk trade.  Team B listens.  Team A says it wants team B’s star player.  Team B counters with what it would take from team A to make that happen.  Team A dangles a player that it knows will be enticing to team B.  Most of the time these discussions are very cordial and very rarely get serious.  The players never hear about it.  If they did, every player on every team in every league would be stressed out every day about potentially getting dealt.  In this case, the Broncos cannot be faulted for exploring any option to make their team better.  The team hasn’t made the playoffs in three years and blew a three game lead with three to play last season, so no one on the roster can really be considered safe.  In the end, they decided that the offers on the table were not worth pulling the trigger on, so that’s what Cutler needs to realize.

Cutler has a 17-20 career record as a starter, so he hasn’t yet proved himself a consistent winner, but you certainly can’t deny his arm and potential.  I think in the end the Broncos realized you don’t trade a Pro Bowl quarterback for one who had one good year or one who is unproven that they could get in the draft.  This is what Cutler needs to realize.  It is understandable that he would be upset if he indeed thought the Broncos didn’t want him and were actively looking to deal him.  That being said, he isn’t showing much leadership ability by whining and cowering and pointing fingers.  To be quite frank, Cutler has a ways to go if he wants to be a true leader.  Last year he only spoke to the media after wins, not after losses.  The quarterback MUST make himself available after every game, no exceptions.  He can’t keep getting flapped when things aren’t going well, and this goes for on and off the field.  He has a tendency to make bad throws when he gets frustrated, and he also has a hard time dealing with reality off the field when something is going against what he thinks should be happening.  Part of this is a natural adjustment to a young player taking a leadership role, but a lot of it is common sense that he needs to understand.  

I don’t mean to completely rag on Cutler here.  It goes without saying that the Broncos would have been completely nuts to trade him for Cassel.  His progression in many ways isn’t that much different from any other quarterback who has finished his third year.  He is without question a top 10 QB in the league (as Cassel cannot be considered yet), and he should be a top 5 one by the time his career his done if he continues to improve.  His arm strength and ability to grasp playbooks and read defenses are off the charts.  He has a will to win and a drive to be successful.  He certainly can’t be faulted for the team’s atrocity on defense the last three years, including a franchise record rushing day allowed to San Diego in the finale last year.  (I am amused when the defense has blown several games the past few seasons and all anyone wants to talk about is Jay Cutler, and before him Jake Plummer.  Cutler certainly isn’t blameless for the team’s collapse, but he’s not out there missing tackles either.) With the tools the Broncos have on offense, the team has a chance to be even more successful on that side of the ball this year with McDaniels offering his proven fresh ideas.  

Hopefully all parties learned something here.  Hopefully McDaniels learned as a young coach that talks can’t ever be trusted to be kept private, especially if they start to turn serious.  Hopefully Cutler can realize that he needs to show maturity in these situations and realize that no player is ever untouchable.  In the end, I really think the two sides will be able to put things aside after Monday’s meeting and work together to try and win football games.  I think the two sides have no choice, considering Cutler has two years remaining on his deal, and the Broncos don’t have any remotely serviceable options at quarterback out there to even look at should they deal Cutler.  McDaniels realizes Cutler’s talent gives him a great shot to win, and I think Cutler will eventually see that McDaniels’ offense will have a lot to offer.  

Of course, the Broncos now have another issue looming, and that’s how many games Brandon Marshall might miss after being involved in another altercation in Atlanta.  We all know Roger Goodell is not kind to repeat violators of the league’s personal conduct policy.  More on that coming soon.


One Response to “Cutler Follow Up”

  1. Doug Baker said

    I am empathatic toward Cutler because being in that position would be uncomfortable and I totally understand his inital hurt and emotional reaction.

    But didn’t anyone tell him that football is really a buisness? Wouldn’t he feel kind of cool if Denver traded him for a boatload of picks and players –probably for far more than what he is actually for to a team that needs a QB like Tampa Bay or Minnesota.

    Being a Patriots fan, I hope he sulks all season long, plays like crap, and the Broncos miss the playoffs! 🙂

    But now hei whining too long and too hard. If he has any maturity whatsoever, this whole thing will blowover by training camp.

    Frankly, Cutler is making himself out to be rather immature and childish at this point.

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