In terms of designating one to be the sleaziest athlete in sports, it’s hard to ignore the process Brett Favre went through last year to attain what he wanted.
Similarly, Jay Cutler’s utilization of Josh McDaniels’ infatuation with Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel made for a solid ground to whine his way out of town. Except, he made sure it was conveniently disregarded that he wanted out before talks flared up regarding the Broncos interest in Cassel.
The Favre fiasco that unfolded last year seemed to be unmatchable, but Jay Cutler’s situation is on its way to reach similar levels. So how can one decide between the two? Easy, don’t pick either. Choose the man who has been lurking in the shadows through both episodes: Bus Cook.
Yes, the agent. Cook’s name first emerged on the scene after Brett Favre’s initial retirement. Profootballtalk reported in late June that Cook was coaxing Favre to play again in 2008, while simultaneously shopping him around to other teams. Is that behavior acting on his client’s best interests?
No, especially considering that Favre’s hesitance to decide was akin to a teenage girl contemplating between hanging out on Friday night with her friends or the cute guy in her math class.
Favre is a grown man. If he is clearly torn in making a decision, it isn’t appropriate for Cook to intervene if he’s acting on his best interests, which is making money, and not Favre’s, which is being happy.
Despite these actions, Cook managed to stay under the radar through the twisting events in the Favre saga. And he managed to make a good amount of cash off it.
Jay Cutler’s situation has lacked compared to Favre’s in terms of drama, but has been categorized as a full-flight mystery since it was reported McDaniels inquired about landing Cassel in a trade.
First, it was reported that Cutler was infuriated that the Broncos even considered supplanting him as the franchise quarterback. Then, Peter King testified that Cutler’s wishes stemmed from the loss of his offensive coordinator, Jeremy Bates.
One possibility that has been seldom mentioned is money. Cutler’s statistics appear to warrant a label of “elite quarterback” by his name, but his career 17-20 record hardly supplies Cook and Cutler enough leverage to receive a lucrative new deal.
With a salary capless era on the horizon and the likes of Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers set to attain new contracts with eight zeros, Cook may have felt inclined to get his client (and himself) the big bucks too.
And what better leverage is there then to have the star quarterback hold his franchise hostage for a substantial period of time?
As we learned last year in the Summer of Favre, nothing.
Cook understands this. For over a month, he and Cutler have manipulated the Broncos into holding private meetings, and specifically Josh McDaniels into partaking in exclusive interviews and parading Cutler’s jersey when the Broncos opening game was announced.
Could it be more obvious, especially with the failure to acquire Cassel, that the Broncos want, no, need Cutler back?
If it has gone over some of your heads, it certainly hasn’t over Cook’s. Now, he has leverage. Now he can see the dollar bills flying in.
Keep in mind this is merely speculation. Regardless of his motives, Cook’s role with two clients that fail to act responsibly in a complicated process justify a label of “sleazy” on Bus Cook.