I am Steelers’ man so far be it from me to be all in the Broncos’ business. But they messed up with quarterback Jay Cutler and should take the lead in trying to make it right. Many sports honks know by now that the team fired head coach Mike Shanahan and hired Josh McDaniels from the Patriots. Recently McDaniels tried to trade Cutler to get quarterback Matt Cassel from the Patriots since he was comfortable with Cassel within his system in New England. The trade didn’t work out as Cassel went to Kansas City instead.
I won’t even talk about that crazy deal, but lets just say that I think if the Chiefs are not successful by the trading deadline this year that a Tony Gonzalez trade to New England will explain why the Pats gave this guy away to new KC head Scott Peoli.
Anyway, I have been hearing stuff on sports radio talking about how Cutler needs to man up and move on. That the NFL is a business and that anyone can be traded. That is not a fact I am lost on. But these are extenuating circumstances and I have to side with Cutler on this one. Here is why.
This is how things work in pro sports. Coach A gets fired and coach B comes in. He has his own system and way of doing things. A change was needed which is why he was hired in the first place. Star player who may or may not have adored the previous coach gets a call from the new coach. New coach says, ” Star Player, I am so happy to be here and I look forward to working with YOU to help this team get to the top! Star Player says, “Sure coach.” On the record Cutler told others he was very excited to work with the new coach. All is well… “See you soon in off season mini camp where I’ll give you the playbook and we’ll start on our future and turn this franchise around.”
Next thing you know you find out the new coach dangled you out there to get another guy in your spot. It was a bitch move or a clever one for the coach to get a guy he was more confident in, but he only knows for sure if it actually works out. If it fails and it gets back to Star Player then of course all hell is gonna break loose. Not only does Star Player feel betrayed and thinks you don’t want him, he also dismisses all the other pleasantries that were previously spoken between the two of you as well as team ownership itself who allowed this shopping to be done. Then on top of it all, when McDaniels is found out, he denies that he even tried to trade Cutler in the first place.
Say its a business all you want. But what if Cutler had lobbed a call to Jerry Jones and said, “Hey, if you think the Broncos will do it, I think I can take the Cowboys to the Super Bowl faster than Tony Romo?.” He would be called a traitor. Jones would be charged for tampering with a player under contract. Cutler’s name and reputation would be toast.
The fact of the matter is, McDaniels and Bronco owner Pat Bowlen put the man out there in a shrewed business move that blew up in their faces. They undermined Cutler’s credibility with his teammates. They said to him, “We don’t believe in you.” Which is fine in itself. But they can’t act like it’s just all good now cause they are stuck with him.
Now the bottle line is this, Cutler is still a Bronco. And by right he needs to learn the playbook and work with the coach to help the team. But if I were him, I would let McDaniels know that this IS business and I will under no circumstances trust either the coach nor the owner. Since there is no trust, I will keep my bags packed cause in the back of my mind I know the hammer could come down at any moment.
That’s just the reality. And if Cutler were to feel anything different, both the coach and the owner need to make it right so that it can be different. So far it doesn’t seem they see it this way. Which just feeds into the initial disrespect in the first place. This would not have happened to John Elway. And yea I know Jay Cutler is no John Elway… at least not yet. But to paraphrase a quote from Rick Pitino, “No, John Elway is not walking through that door.”