Jay Cutler's No Villain

tom franzeseContributor IMarch 17, 2009

Jay Cutler has wrongly been painted as the villain in his battle with the Denver Broncos organization over a failed attempt at trading him.

First off, could Cutler have handled the news of his team trying to jettison him better? Of course, but the Broncos are not without fault, either.

Seems to me the Broncos had a "Plan A" (getting Matt Cassell for new head coach Josh McDaniels to work with), and when that plan fell through, they had not only no "Plan B," but no idea how to handle the fallout that followed the collapse of their previous blueprint.

If you're going to tell me Matt Cassell is even remotely in Jay Cutler's league, you're insane. Immature reaction or not, I can see how Cutler was insulted by this move. I mean, who is Matt Cassell?

It's not like the Broncos were gunning for a bonafide starting quarterback, like Carson Palmer or Drew Brees; Cassell wasn't even picked in the first round. I know Tom Brady was another guy drafted low who made the most of his shot, but let's not put Cassell at Brady's elite level after 15 games; he's not even close.

The point I'm making is that Cutler was right to be offended that his new head coach cared so little for him that he was willing to move him for a clearly inferior signal-caller.

Owner Pat Bowlen issued a statement saying that he was " disappointed" with the way that things were being handled, but that he was more "disappointed" at how Cutler was handling things. Really?

If Pat Bowlen was so concerned about it becoming a circus, where was he Saturday, when his Pro Bowl general sat down with McDaniels and GM Brian Xanders? Maybe if Mr. Bowlen had been present for that meeting, Cutler would have felt a sense of security, instead of detecting an ambush.

Maybe the owner of the team should have been there to bridge the gap between his new front office and his star. By remaining in the shadows, quiet, Bowlen spoke volumes.

Everybody wants to use the Patriots as a model by hiring Bill Belichick-trained coordinators, but what they miss is that these guys aren't actually Belichick. These young coordinators who become head coaches, no matter how talented they may think they are, haven't earned anything yet.

Eric Mangini made this mistake with the Jets, and when the team began to lose, they stopped buying into the "Patriot Way." I'm afraid the Broncos are heading down the same street with McDaniels.

McDaniels' first interactions with Cutler were all an attempt to establish his Belichick-style superiority. He told the team's most important player that, essentially, he is no more valuable to the team then the water boys.

Jay Cutler has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in his first three seasons in the NFL. Only Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, and Brett Favre threw for more.

He's thrown for more than 50 TD, he's been to the Pro Bowl, and he was the first Bronco QB to begin his career with TD passes in seven straight games.

When every Denver running back got injured last year, he single-handedly put the team on his back.

He's never complained about the talent around him, and he deserves better.


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