You can if you look long enough and hard enough find people contributing to Bleacher Report that actually really know their football.
Billy De Costa made an absolutely great post on a good article by Andy Auger talking about a potential trade between Cleveland and Denver involving (as the principal players) Brady Quinn, Shaun Rogers and Jay Cutler.
De Costa says…
“People seem to say that because Quinn ran Charlie Weis' offence at Notre Dame, he could run Josh McDaniels offence in Denver.
"Trouble I see is, those are two totally different offences. When Weis was in New England, the Patriots emphasized ball control with the run game, two-back sets and double tight ends. Watching McDaniels' offences the past few season, he uses three, four and five wide sets.
"He spends 75 percent of the time in shotgun with one or no back, uses short four and five yard passes to control the ball while still spreading out the defence and when he does run the ball, usually it's out of draws, dives and TE Motion Leads out of the gun.
"He uses multiple backs with different skill sets in those run situations. To me, they seem like totally different offences.
"Then again, that kind of offence would be just what the doctor ordered for a gunslinger like Jay Cutler if he would shut his mouth and play the game."
This is spot on, and I for one pray that we see Cutler playing in that kind of spread offence next year for the Broncos…I really do.
But it also got me thinking…if Denver really do have to trade Cutler, what kind of quarterback might fit the bill in the McDaniels system?
And the the answer is actually Derek Anderson.
I am not suggesting for one second that Anderson is an adequate replacement for a Jay Cutler (Cutler’s talent is a once in a generation thing in my view, but for the purposes of this article that is beside the point.) In fact four Derek Andersons aren’t worth one Jay cutler.
But just bear with me…
Cutler and Scheffler to Cleveland…in return for…
Derek Anderson, Shaun Rogers, Braylon Edwards, and the Browns' No.5 pick?
If this trade looks steep on Cleveland, in reality they still get the edge on the deal. You cannot underestimate how much an elite young QB like Cutler is worth. Also the Browns get an immediate replacement for Kellen Winslow at tight end.
And what’s more, you’ve still got an expendable Brady Quinn. Someone would snap up Quinn, and with either the picks or the players you could get in return you could start rebuilding the Browns secondary…surely Mangini’s No. 1 priority.
But as a lifelong fan, forgive me if I look at such a trade in more detail from a Bronco perspective.
First of all, Anderson. He is tall, has a decent arm, and most importantly is a pure pocket passer. The Broncos have got a good enough O-Line to protect a player like him and in return someone with his particular skill set may flourish.
I wouldn’t compare Anderson to Brady or even Cassel, but, in quarterbacking style anyway, all three players have a lot in common. Mark my words, Anderson could be a very good system quarterback and therefore maybe a real fit in a McDaniels offence.
Now consider the fact that the Broncos will also acquire Braylon Edwards in my proposed deal. This would allow the Broncos to easily operate a New England style spread offence, and boy will Anderson have some targets.
Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Edwards…with Brandon Stokely as a Wes Welker “underneath” type of guy. Nice.
Making this trade also allows the Broncos, to fix, once and for all their issues at D-Line. They would no longer need to go after B.J Raji in the draft as Nose tackle is fixed by the acquisition of Shaun Rogers. So with their newly acquired #5 pick they could go after Everette Brown, your archetypal DE/OLB “tweener” required for the the 3-4.
They could then use their No. 12 pick to pick up one of the super athletic linebackers available in the draft…an Aaron Curry or Ray Mauluga…or they could even go get Tyson Jackson and make their defensive front downright scary.
Either way, if Denver pulled this trade off, suddenly their defence looks like the real deal. Elvis Dumervil and Everette Brown to play on the outside, DJ Williams and Andra Davis at middle Linebacker, Shaun Rogers at nose tackle, and add another draft star, either another linebacker, or Tyson Jackson, to put the icing on the cake.
You combine this with the hard nosed secondary that Denver have already acquired through Free Agency…and yes…you have an NFL defence worthy of the name.
The major catch on this deal is money. Because of how Cutler’s contract is structured he hardly costs Denver anything this year, and if they do move him under my proposed trade, I am not sure how the Broncos would even be able to accommodate the big name players that would arrive on their roster.
So, ultimately, you do always end up at the same conclusion, trading Cutler makes absolutely no sense, and really cannot happen. Fun to speculate though and if they do trade him, this is the type of package they should expect back, NOTHING less.