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Nearly one week after new Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels went on ESPN and clearly said Jay Cutler will be in a Bronco uniform in 2009, the Broncos organization has announced they are actively seeking a trade for the young gunslinger.
At age 25, just seven years younger than McDaniels, Cutler has already accomplished big things in Denver. Cutler was the 11th overall pick in the ’06 NFL draft, and has already made a Pro Bowl appearance (’08), thrown for over 9,000 yards and posted a career QB rating of 87.1 in his first three NFL seasons.
But, about two months after being named Mike Shanahan’s successor in Denver, the 32-year old Josh McDaniels made a huge mistake by attempting to make a statement to his players. He allegedly attempted to complete a trade which would bring the now-Kansas City Chiefs' QB Matt Cassel to Denver, sending Cutler to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The trade fell through as McDaniels’ former QB (in New England) was shipped to Kansas City instead.
When Cutler found out about “the trade,” he was not a happy camper. And the rest, as they say, is history. Cutler received the wrong first impression of McDaniels and apparently wants out. Tuesday it was said the Broncos have decided they will, in fact, trade him now. They really have no choice after the happenings that have been going on in Denver during the month of March. Why keep, and pay someone that much money if he doesn’t even want to play for you.
This is certainly not the kind of thing McDaniels bargained for when he agreed on that four-year, $8 million contract on January 11 of this year. But, he’s obviously inexperienced at this sort of thing; he was a coach under New England’s Bill Belichick from 2001-2008, but has never been the head man.
The only thing left to talk about here is where will Cutler land? I don’t think he will get a better situation to be in than Denver (before the trade saga, that is), unless he somehow ends up in Minnesota where he has a solid O-line, defensive unit and an all-pro half back running behind him in Adrian Peterson. Other potential buyers include, but are not limited to New York (Jets), Detroit, Carolina (they are still trying to deal Julius Peppers and Denver is a good fit for him), Tampa Bay, Washington (just a rumor I heard), San Francisco, Seattle, Jacksonville and possibly even Chicago. The Lions would be very smart to jump on this opportunity. Trading for Cutler (if they can afford it), would mean they can take the offensive tackle they need with the first overall pick, and then focus on defensive players the rest of the draft. But maybe that's just my opinion, though.
No matter where Cutler ends up for the 2009 season, I believe Cutler will make an immediate impact on his new team. This young man, if he matures quickly, can be the difference in a 6-10 team and an 11-win playoff team.