The Denver Broncos have a strong armed quarterback in Jay Cutler and apparently a head strong coach in Josh McDaniels. What remains to be seen is whether the head strong coach will come to the conclusion that he needs to make peace with his quarterback in order to salvage the team’s 2009 season and perhaps his position as head coach.
This whole sordid saga began when McDaniels broached the idea of trading Cutler as part of a three-team trade that would have brought his former pupil Matt Cassel to Denver. In Cutler’s mind, it doesn’t seem to matter whether Denver was approached by another team. What matters to him is that the idea wasn’t rejected at first glance. You can argue whether or not this was the proper reaction but it is what it is.
McDaniels and GM Brian Xanders then apparently made a bad situation worse by pulling a heavy on Cutler and telling him that, although they didn’t plan on trading him, they would if they felt it was good for the franchise. It never dawned on them that perhaps the best way to make peace was to simply say they had no intention of trading him and stopping there. Of course, the new sheriffs in town felt it was important to show off their badges, so rather than putting out the fire, they added fuel to it.
Although Cutler seems to be a bit immature (calling out wide receiver Brandon Marshall last season and overreacting to this situation), what should be clear to McDaniels is that this is a battle that he cannot win for a number of reasons. First off, this team isn’t going anywhere without Cutler at quarterback because of the question marks on defense and at running back. Second, it’s hard to believe that owner Pat Bowlen is going to allow his rookie head coach and general manager to trade the franchise quarterback whose physical and mental attributes mirror those of franchise icon John Elway. Finally, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Bowlen puts some handcuffs on his rookie duo given their lackluster performance thus far, including this situation as well as questionable free agent signings.
It says here that there’s a far greater likelihood of McDaniels and Xanders being one and done in Denver than of Bowlen allowing these neophytes to trade the current face of the franchise. The owner has already shown he will spend when necessary by axeing former coach Mike Shanahan and eating $21-million in the process.