Washington Redskins Need To Cut Out the Cutler Talks

Sean LaveryCorrespondent IApril 2, 2009

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 16:  Jamaal Anderson #98 of the Atlanta Falcons pressures quarterback Jay Cutler #6 of the Denver Broncos during the game at the Georgia Dome on November 16, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

As anyone who's paid any attention to sports news today well knows, the Broncos have shifted into full "trade Jay Cutler" mode. The disgruntled quarterback and team management have apparently come to a stalemate, and it's clear now that No. 6 will not be wearing a Broncos jersey next season.

A number of sources have linked the Washington Redskins as a potential suitor for Cutler, and at first glance, such a move makes sense for the 'Skins.

Washington finished 8-8 last year, and one of the biggest weaknesses over their 2-6 second half of the season was the offense and quarterback play. Jason Campbell only had four TD passes and never threw for more than 232 yards in those last eight games of the season.

Cutler is coming off of a Pro-Bowl and 4,500-yard season. In games in which the Broncos defense has given up 21 points or less, Cutler is 13-1 in his career (with the sole loss coming in an overtime matchup with Brett Favre and his Packers).


But as one continues to examine the situation, it becomes clear that Cutler is not the answer for this Redskins team.

It would be hard to argue that Cutler doesn't offer a noticeable upgrade to Campbell, but the cost and risk far outweigh the likely reward of a trade for him.

Jason Campbell had a QB rating of 84.3 last season. Cutler's was only a slighly higher 86.

Jay may have put up huge numbers, but that's because he's a "gunslinger" and takes far more risks than Campbell. That mentality resulted in 18 interceptions, three times the amount that Jason threw (six).

Campbell had three games in which he threw more interceptions than touchdowns, while Cutler had six.


And besides that, there's no indication that Cutler would duplicate those numbers that were good if he were to move to the nation's capital. While both teams ran West Coast-based offenses, the two teams have very significant differences.

Denver's offensive line only allowed 11 sacks last season. But in 2007, when the Broncos line gave up 27 sacks, Cutler threw for 1,000 fewer yards and coughed up the ball 11 times, seven more times than he did in 2008.

The Redskins line is closer to that 2007 Broncos line than it is to the 2008 one in terms of performance. Campbell has been sacked 66 times in his career with the Redskins and met turf 38 times last year.

Campbell has already improved his fumble issues dramatically (only six on those 38 sacks). On the other hand, Cutler would likely cough it up just as often, and even if he didn't, it's unlikely he would be as productive without the same level of protection.


Additionally, Cutler had more and better targets to throw to in Denver than he would in DC.

No offense to the very skilled Santana Moss, but he's no Brandon Marshall. One could even argue that Denver's No. 2, Eddie Royal, is equal to Moss.

And beyond those two Broncos mentioned, Cutler also had Tony Sheffler and Brandon Stokely.

Besides Moss, the Redskins have no other legitimate recieving options aside of tight end Chris Cooley; Antwaan Randle-El has struggled since joining the team. The two highly touted rookies, Devin Thomas and Malcom Kelly, combined for only eighteen catches (and what feels like twice as many dropped passes) last season.


Then, there's the question of attitude. Why would Washington want a player who just whined his way out of an unfavorable situation?

The quarterback is the leader of the team; he can't have attitude issues. He needs to deal with adversity and lead the team through it.

I think we just saw how Cutler deals with adversity: He doesn't. He shuts down and plays the crybaby.


But above all, the Redskins should be wary of the price tag associated with Cutler. It would take not only Jason Campbell but also likely a first-round pick (and possibly one more low-round pick as well). Considering the Redskins are already short second-, fourth-, and seventh-round selections this year (and a fifth rounder next year), more picks are an exceptionally large thing to ask.

Those picks could be used to start rebuilding the offensive line or fill other need areas.

The other possibility would be moving Chris Cooley and a lower-round pick (though it would probably still be at least this year's third rounder or next year's second).

While Fred Davis, Cooley's backup, is talented, there's not a real indication that's he's ready to start for the 'Skins yet.

And who really wants to see Chris in a different uniform, anyway?

Bottom line: Cutler is not worth what the Redskins would have to give up to acquire him.


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