Maybe Jay Cutler has a Fathead of Brett Favre on his wall. Maybe he is a spoiled good ol’ boy who was treated like a golden god at his alma matter of Vanderbilt. Maybe he is just a product of the me-first generation of players. Maybe he fell asleep in his John Elway throwback jersey and woke up with a case of mistaken self-identity. Maybe he thinks he is Dallas Cowboy.
Whatever the case may be, apparently Jay Cutler thinks he is untouchable. That he has been the savior of Denver Broncos football. That’s because Cutler flew off the handle over the weekend when he found out that he wasn’t traded by the Broncos. That’s NOT traded.
Every NFL player not named Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Andre Johnson knows that at any point their career with their team could end. Apparently Cutler didn’t get the memo.
When Cutler found out that his new coach Josh McDaniels had a bit of an affinity for Matt Cassel, a player he coached in 2008 when the USC grad went 10-5 as a starter, and that the Broncos had discussions of trading Cutler to QB-happy John Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he acted like a prima donna on the level usually reserved for Terrell Owens.
Apparently the Broncos felt they could use a quarterback with a better than .500 winning percentage to do battle in the competitive AFC, so they wanted to loop in the Patriots and the Buccaneers. Unfortunately, probably in Denver’s eyes, the Kansas City Chiefs stepped in and picked up the franchise-tagged Cassel. But word got out that Cutler’s name had been in play, and he went bonkers.
Somebody forgot to tell the petulant Cutler that this is what happens in a business built on winning. And now Cutler is putting his fists under his shoulders and refusing to talk about his pain. Except for a few words.
“I’m upset,” he told The Denver Post. “I mean, I’m really shocked at this point.”
Cutler’s agent (and Brett Favre’s former agent … coincidence?), James “Bus” Cook, followed that up by saying, “Nobody’s going to call the [New York] Giants and ask for Eli [Manning]. Nobody’s calling the [Indianapolis] Colts asking about Peyton [Manning]. [Tom] Brady? Come on. So, why call Denver and ask about Jay? And if they do call, why not say, ‘That’s not for discussion. What else do you want?'”
It looks like someone has convinced Cutler that he is on par with some of the best quarterbacks in the game.
Sure, he had to carry a fairly anemic Broncos team last season and put up impressive numbers in yards (4, 526) and touchdowns (25). But how far did he even carry them? The Broncos have not made the playoffs since Cutler arrived from Vanderbilt. In fact, Cutler doesn’t even have a winning record in Denver as a starter (17-20), and his critical turnovers (18 interceptions) crippled the team down the stretch.
Now, the superstar-in-his-own-mind won’t talk beyond press releases and petulant statements from his agent. He’s off on the completely wrong foot with his new coach, whom I doubt will be riddled with guilt for shopping Cutler and resign before his first game in 2009.
His agent Cook warns that the Broncos are in dangerous territory with the way they are treating his crybaby client. But the only person who is in danger right now is Jay Cutler. His trade value has gone down since the incident and if he ends up back in Denver in 2009, he better expect to step his game up in a very complicated offense system or the only ones whining might be the Broncos fans (along with the entire AFC West fan base), as they mock their would-be superstar.