Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

ENOUGH! Shut Up and Play!

Posted by mizzou1028 on March 12, 2009

This is an open letter to Jay Cutler.  I know the odds of him actually reading this are as good as Kansas suffering a 60 point loss to a 15 seed in next week’s NCAA tournament (please?  please?), but it seems like he is getting really bad advice from someone or multiple someones, so here we go:

Dear Mr. Cutler:

First let me say that you are an amazing talent.  Your arm strength alone makes you one of the top quarterbacks in the National Football League.  You’ve shown a great deal of ability in your young career, throwing for a Broncos record 4,526 yards last season and 25 touchdowns.  You’re not afraid to try and make a play, which I greatly admire in a quarterback.  I know your will to win rivals that of any player in the league.  Simply put, the Broncos would have been crazy to trade you for Matt Cassel.  That would be such a downgrade in the quarterback position that there would have been a riot outside Josh McDaniels’ house if he actually pulled the trigger on such a ridiculous deal.  McDaniels knows this, that’s one reason of many why he didn’t pull the trigger on the deal.  The important thing is, you weren’t traded.  That’s the key thing here.  The Broncos didn’t trade you because they want you to be their quarterback, now and into the future.

I can understand your frustration about being mentioned in trade rumors.  Hell, I’d be really upset too if I saw my name on the ESPN bottom line in reference to a potential deal.  If that’s how I found out my name was being bantered about in trade talks, of course it would be upsetting.  No one is faulting you for that.  The thing is, you weren’t traded!  The Broncos are well aware they would have been crazy to trade you for a quarterback who has had one good year and still very unproven over the long haul.   Do you really think the Broncos would be dumb enough to get rid of you when the other available options at quarterback are less desirable than a Tennessee jersey would be to a Vanderbilt graduate?  Are you really crazy enough to think Josh McDaniels would rather turn the offense over to Chris Simms than to have you running it?  

I’m not going to be dishonest, I can’t say the Broncos didn’t have any discussions regarding you or any other player on the roster.  The important thing is, the Broncos didn’t act on them. they didn’t trade you!  There is a reason Pat Bowlen decided to make a coaching change: the team’s 24-24 record over the past three seasons.  This means that no one on the team can ultimately be considered safe.  That’s just the truth.  Any new coach coming in would have looked at the roster the same way McDaniels did, and it’s impossible to say any coach would have retained everyone, that’s just the way it is.  

What you have to remember is that being mentioned in trade talks does not mean that the team doesn’t like you or doesn’t think you’re a great player.  To the contrary, it could mean you’re very valuable.  I want to give you a list.  This list is of great players in many sports (past and present) who have been traded at some point in their careers:

– Joe Montana 

– Brett Favre 

– Steve Young 

– Eric Dickerson 

– Herschel Walker 

– Champ Bailey (you may know him)

– Clinton Portis 

– Jerome Bettis 

– Eli Manning and Philip Rivers 

– Dirk Nowitzki 

– Scottie Pippen 

– Kobe Bryant 

– Kevin McHale and Robert Parish 

– Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 

– Rasheed Wallace 

– Curt Schilling 

– Jeff Bagwell

– Randy Johnson (twice)

– Manny Ramirez

– Lou Brock

– Tom Seaver

– Pedro Martinez

– Mark McGwire 

– Sammy Sosa (twice)

– Nolan Ryan (multiple times, and he’s arguably the best pitcher of all-time)

– Ozzie Smith (greatest shortstop of all-time perhaps?)

– Wayne Gretzky (easily the greatest NHL player of all-time)

– Patrick Roy (more wins than any goaltender in NHL history)

– Ray Bourque 

– Brett Hull

– Peter Forsberg

This list is just a sampling, but I think it more than proves the point.  Look at this list and what do you see?  You see all-stars, hall of famers, some of the greatest players who have ever lived.  (Frankly I think the list of NHL players who haven’t been traded might be a much longer list).  The point here is that teams will do anything at all to try to win and improve.  The point here is that all-stars are not exempt from the possibility of being dealt, that’s just the reality of it.  While admittedly some of these teams got fleeced, in many cases the team trading the all-star got a boatload in return.  Herschel Walker for example got traded for 12 guys, including draft picks that turned into Emmitt Smith and Troy Aikman.  

The thing you need to keep in mind, Mr. Cutler, is that for the Broncos to deal you it would take an amazing package.  The Broncos aren’t just going to give away a Pro Bowl quarterback like yourself, but if someone were to give them an offer they couldn’t refuse (say three Pro Bowlers in exchange), they would have to look at that.  This does not mean they don’t like you or don’t think you are a great quarterback, they are simply trying to put the best team on the field that they can.  In the end, they quickly saw that you are a much better quarterback than Matt Cassel, and that is why that deal was not made.  When Josh McDaniels told you on the conference call that no one is untradable, he certainly did not mean he is looking to deal you, he was merely trying to illustrate the business of the NFL.  Trust me when I say the Broncos are not looking actively to trade you, but you have to think as if you were the GM.  You would want to put the best team out there that you can right?  The Broncos want you to be their quarterback, as proven by the fact that they turned down all proposals for you.  Just because they talked does not mean they were seriously considering a deal.

My advice to you is: report to camp on Monday.  Sit down with Josh McDaniels (no one else, for I believe your conference call included too many people) and air out EVERYTHING.  Make sure it’s face to face.  Make him look you in the eye.  Be honest with him.  Tell him what you’re feeling and why.  Give him a chance to explain things to you.  He’ll be honest with you.  I would be highly surprised if he didn’t tell you that you are a very important part of the team and that he didn’t want you around.  This is the only way this can be buried in the past.  Surely you can see that this would be much more efficient and smarter than pouting to your buddies and not reporting.  After that? Prove to the Broncos why you are indispensable.   Play your butt off and help the Broncos win football games.  Be the leader the Denver Broncos need you to be.  Take charge in the huddle.  Instead of expressing your frustration and your hurt feelings in your current manner, channel it into your performance in workouts and on the field.  Frankly your current behavior is not that of a team leader.  You think you have a stronger arm than John Elway?  Prove it.  You want to win? Go out there and get it done.  The Broncos need you.  You really don’t want to be labeled as another athlete who held out and ruined his career.  Besides think about it: do you really want to wake up and realize you’re a Detroit Lion?  I can assure you that their left tackle is not near as good as Ryan Clady, and I guarantee you would find yourself wishing you were back in Denver with McDaniels.  

Be a man here, not a child.  If you play this right, this might just give you the kick needed to really get your career off the ground.   If you don’t, you might already be in the process of kissing your promising career goodbye.  The choice is yours.  


Reid Fischer – a concerned fan


One Response to “ENOUGH! Shut Up and Play!”

  1. Doug Baker said

    Excellent post!

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