Jay Cutler's Tragic Flaw

Tosten HeathSenior Analyst IApril 1, 2009

KANSAS CITY - SEPTEMBER 28: Quarterback  Jay Cutler #6 of the Denver Broncos watches warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 28, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 33-19.  (Photo by: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Creon ignored the gods. Oedipus ignored fate. Jay Cutler ignored a text message.

The Denver Broncos decided Tuesday that they would trade their disgruntled franchise quarterback after ten days of failed attempts to communicate with Cutler.

"A conversation with his agent earlier [Tuesday] clearly communicated and confirmed to us that Jay no longer has any desire to play for the Denver Broncos. We will begin discussions with other teams in an effort to accommodate his request to be traded," Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said.

It's called a tragic flaw.

Ignorance is bliss? Ignorance is bane.

A 25-year-old pro bowl quarterback coming off the best season of his career could not come to terms with the idea that his team does not view him as hero. Which is the exact reason why his character is so tragic.

Amid rumors of a possible trade that would bring to Denver's new coach Josh McDaniels his old quarterback Matt Cassel as a replacement for Cutler, the Broncos quarterback was outraged.

Cassel is in Kansas City now, but a bruised ego is a bruised ego. Cutler's feelings are hurt.

Can you blame him? He's a rising star. Can you sympathize?

But can you also see how that's irrelevant? The real question is, can you justify his actions?

He ignored his coach. He ignored his management. He ignored his team.

And so goes a prideful man. It wasn't from a Shawne Merriman sack, or a Nnamdi Asomugha interception, or a blown division lead, but Cutler armor has been chinked—by friendly fire. He feels betrayed by his own organization.

So, he blocked phone calls from Bowlen, and didn't repsond to text messages from McDaniels. Does that sound like a man on the verge of catharsis?

No. That is why this is a man on the verge of being traded.

It's the same reason Fred Taylor was released, the same reason behind the release of Torry Holt and near-release of LaDainian Tomlinson.

The face of a franchise is the franchise—in their eyes. Unfortunately, in reality, that's not quite how it works.

No player is bigger than his team. If a franchise seeks to improve, or in terms more relevant to this case, if a franchise seeks a quarterback that the head coach views as a better fit, no pro bowler has veto power. Jay Cutler, Marvin Harrison, they aren't Presidents.

When a team wants change, they get change. Cutler and company owe loyalty to their franchises by not expecting a franchise's loyalty to them to outweigh a franchise's commitment to success.

Cutler couldn't accept this, even when all it meant was casting aside mere trade whispers. Now the Broncos are about to cast aside him. And really, should any coach accept such arrogance?

Blindside or not, it is cockiness and nothing less that caused Cutler to believe that he, as a two year starter, was above being dealt.

And cockiness was his downfall. It was not that he loved Denver less, but that Jay Cutler loved himself more.

Enjoy Detroit.