Umm… Jay… maybe, just maybe, you might want to do something worthy of keeping you before throwing a temper tantrum


A word in advance…

I started this article and had troubles getting back to it. I wanted to double-check some stats… try to find material from a Colorado source or three or four… and finally give it a day or two to sit in a corner, untouched, to figure out if I felt differently about it.

Is it important to let it sit a bit? Well… yes… and no.

It can be because walking away from something before proofreading and re-writes often helps the text. No question about that. And more time for research and development isn’t a bad thing. Often material that you rush ends up looking… yeah, you guessed it… rushed. And others times just the pause of a day or two works wonders. Occasionally, you think of material you would have included if given the time. For instance... in this case... Mike Lowell and Anquan Boldin...

Mike Lowell ~ Other than when the media sought him out to talk about the Mark Teixeira situation, I can’t recall a single time I heard him bitching or moaning about some lack of respect because Boston was exploring options (and likely setting up a trade for him). True… he had surgery. Still… all reports indicated he was going to be fine. And the thing is, this guy has a track record of performance, is amazingly well-like by the community and respected by his peers, and… stunning… is a winner. In short… as the expression goes… he’s got the pelts on the wall.

Anquan Boldin ~ He claims he wants out. Teammates are offering to restructure contracts to keep him. Have you heard a peep about Cutler’s teammates screaming that the management in Denver is screwing up with Cutler? You might if you dig for it… but not as readily and quickly as you see other players in other organizations getting support from friends and teammates.

So… there you go… two things I thought about after finishing up most of what follows here.

And then again… some times the pause backfires on you.

Now Denver is saying they plan to trade him. Just in time for me to post this article about why he needs to quit his bitching and accept life in Denver. Wonderful.

All I can say about that is buyer beware. Some times crybabies… Eli Manning comes immediately to mind, with his no San Diego demands… get lucky. Could happen here.

But… I still want to go over why Cutler is an idiot. So, here’s the article I wrote…

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Umm… Jay… maybe, just maybe, you might want to do something worthy of keeping you before throwing a temper tantrum

I need to kick this off with an important note… Jay Cutler might be a decent quarterback. His numbers are ok. His record when the Denver defense doesn’t give up 57 points or more is pretty good. I’ve watched him play… a few times… and thought he was decent, though unspectacular. People that have seen him more than me seem to feel he needs a few more pieces around him but could be very successful.

So… you know… he’s not that bad.

But I’ve got a problem with him lately. Basically… I don’t understand the bug up his backside.

You’ve probably heard the stories, so I won’t link to them here. He’s been mad about them trying to trade him and bring in Matt Cassel. He’s been mad about the meetings that followed the trade that didn’t happen. And I suppose you could hit a search engine, enter in the right combination of words, and find out he’s mad no one else on his team seems to be mad the same way he’s mad.


I don’t get it.

See… at the heart of this are three basic issues. And I say three because, if any of these three are valid reasons for him to be upset, we can continue and investigate any of the number of other ideas for his displeasure. But, if none of these three matter… then he needs to be quiet. Because if they don’t matter, then Denver looking at options is a perfectly acceptable and understandable scenario.

First… is anyone safe from being traded in a league where trades don’t happen? Second… is this trade involving Cassel understandable? And third… what has Jay done that Denver would want him to continue?

To explore these issues, we might need to have some ground rules. See, in the NFL all sorts of things come in to play when discussing trades and contracts and guarantees. For one, the salary cap creates a situation where contracts are worded in very specific ways.

For our purposes, we simply need to find out whether or not Cutler should be insulted about being discussed in trade talks. That means we should wipe out the salary cap obstacles. The largest question should be… do the Broncos believe they would be better off with someone different at quarterback? And the remaining ideas we can adjust a bit as we get into specifics.

You know what? I don’t think he’s going to do well here…

Is anyone safe in a league where trades don’t happen?

Actually… yes.

But not in a way that helps Cutler. Let’s limit our conversation to quarterbacks, since Cutler is one and the trade that supposedly created this nightmare involved moving him for another quarterback.

If you look at every NFL team, there simply aren’t many quarterbacks an organization wouldn’t trade. Quick and dirty… almost every player in the league can be replaced with better.

This is especially true when you consider that New England in all probability at least considered trading Tom Brady and keeping Matt Cassel. Think about that one again. Trading Tom Brady. Had to at least have been a thought… a discussion. The consideration may not have lasted long, or been more than a portion of a conversation taking place over nachos and a beer on an afternoon while relaxing at a bar. But it almost certainly happened in some form. And if Brady could be traded… well… any quarterback could be.

If health is removed from the worry list though… which would be the reason those talks occurred about Brady over nachos… then I think we arrive at a whopping total of four that wouldn’t be traded. And that’s probably being generous. Here’s my list…

Tom Brady… Peyton Manning… Ben Roethlisberger… Drew Brees.

That’s it.

(And Brees is wide open for debate.)

When it comes to Brady and Manning I think you get the point. If you can find yourself a more accomplished quarterback than one of those two… enjoy. So if we’re saying they’re not injured or upset for some reason, there is no way they get traded for another quarterback right now.

With Roethlisberger you have championships and affordability. Two Super Bowl victories tells Pittsburgh ownership they not only can win with him… they will win with him. His stats may not have been dominating in the big games… and maybe his name doesn’t immediately come to your mind as an elite, game-changing quarterback… but as soon as you tell me of any current NFL quarterback other than Tom Brady with two or more titles from championship games he started, I’ll drop Roethlisberger from the list.

Seeing no others beyond Tom and Ben with multiple titles... that’s three safe.

And now… Brees.

Look around the NFL. Is there anyone else in the NFC South you’d take over him? No. Is there anyone in the NFC North you’d take over him? I don’t think so. NFC West? Maybe Kurt Warner… but I wouldn’t since Warner is fine, but (1) significantly older, and, (2) incredibly dependent on a supporting cast. In the NFC East, title or not, I don’t think Eli is better than Brees. So he’s essentially a quarterback that every NFC team would trade their starter for in a one-for-one quarterback switch.

In the AFC I can find four quarterbacks that wouldn’t be traded for Brees… Brady, Manning and Roethlisberger are three. Covered all of those. The other? Well… the San Diego management that is currently in place already made the choice to go with Philip Rivers instead of Brees, so we have to accept that move from the past as their stance today. And… Rivers has navigated the Chargers to the playoffs.

The point is, for at least Brady and Manning… almost definitely Roethlisberger… and quite possibly Brees… the teams that have them aren’t trading them and aren’t looking. After that, 28 teams may say they’re happy. You shouldn’t believe them. Happy… well... maybe. Satisfied? Probably not. The rest of the league is a wide-open field at quarterback.

So… question number one answered … Jay Cutler shouldn’t feel safe from a trade. Nothing to be embarrassed by… most quarterbacks shouldn’t.

So why this particular trade?

Well… duh… the head coach.

Josh McDaniels.

I know, I know… blah-blah-blah… Randy Moss… Wes Welker… loaded offense... whatever. Sure, go ahead and say that anyone can win and produce surrounded by that talent. I don’t buy that argument. It sure helps to have thiose players around. But it doesn’t guarantee anything.

The fact is that having not started for years at any level, Matt Cassel ran an offense designed by McDaniels. He went 10-5 in 15 games as a starter, probably should have gone to the Pro Bowl, and was ripped off by circumstance when it came to a playoff spot. (Go ahead... look over Drew Bledsoe’s career stats and winning percentage and tell me winning two-thirds of your starts isn’t impressive.)

On the other side of this debate, Cutler was in a division where the guaranteed postseason berth went to an 8-8 team… and it wasn’t the team he played for.

In a better comparison of the two… Cassel lost to Miami (playoff team), San Diego (weak playoff team), Indianapolis (playoff team), New York (Jets… 9-7 team), and Pittsburgh (Super Bowl winner). He also defeated two of those clubs during the season (Miami and New York), and the teams that beat his Patriots went 52-28 over the season.

Cutler got leveled against New England head-to-head, and his team also had losses to Jacksonville, Oakland, Kansas City and Buffalo. (I mention these teams specifically because all four had losing records for the year. Say what you want about the Denver defense not supporting such a bright and talented young offense, a team looking for a playoff spot shouldn’t lose games to Jacksonville, Oakland and Kansas City, then complain they got hosed.)

So you tell me… why would the new head coach be interested in going after a quarterback that successfully ran the offense he wants to install? Why would a coach want to go after a quarterback that guided his team to a season where they only lost to four playoff teams and a club with a winning record? (Gee… I don’t know.)

Strike two Jay.

Well… has Jay Cutler done anything in Denver to defend his stand that he shouldn’t be traded?


Oh… I’ll grant you… he’s done enough not to be viewed as a negative.

But let’s see… Super Bowl title? Nope. Not even an appearance. Heck… playoffs? Nope. Not even an appearance. And this year the winner of the division, as noted a few moments ago, went 8-8. In fact, in his three seasons, the Denver team has never had a winning record in games he started.

Not a good start for him in this section.

Let’s try to make it better.

In 2008 he threw for an impressive 4,526 yards and a so-so-average completion rate of 62%. He had more touchdowns than picks… 25 to 18. And both the completion rate and TD to interception numbers look fairly consistent over all three seasons. (Oh… yeah… 2006 was just 5 games… need to note that.)

Ready for something funny though?

He’s played two full seasons… 2007 and 2008, 16 starts each year. And, if you look at the numbers, he put the ball in the air another 150 times, but the breakdown of stats is virtually the same.

150 extra passes… 25 touchdowns (2008) to 20 (2007)

150 extra passes… 18 picks to 14.

150 extra passes… 11.8 yards per completion both years.

150 extra passes… 62.3% complete is down from 63.6%.

How does Cassel compare? Ok…



















Really, the only place Cassel loses is in total yardage. And… weapons or no… Cassel never really opened it up on his first few starts. Now, he finished the season in a game against Buffalo that, frankly, wasn’t made for any passing at all. If you took the final 8 games of the season… including the total of 78 yards passing against Buffalo… and doubled that, Cassel would be over 4,200 yards.

Coulda… shoulda… woulda… the point is supposed to be about Cutler. And the comparison brings about this…

Cassel has a winning record as a starter. Cutler does not.

Cassel posted his winning record in a division where three teams had winning records. Cutler went 8-8 in a division where no team had a true winning record.

Cassel’s numbers are comparable to Cutler’s, and when you check out those turnovers it gets pretty close.

So again… Cutler loses the argument.

Let’s wrap this up simply enough. The Denver Broncos were considering a quarterback change. Their current quarterback is ok, but hasn’t accomplished much. Their new head coach was likely going to install systems on offense and defense that reflect his philosophy… and he had a chance to go after a quarterback that had won and been successful operating an offense not just based on his system, it was his system.

Exactly what does Cutler have to be upset about?


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