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Race for Cutler Is Underway

Analysis

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen announced Tuesday that the club will seek to trade disgruntled quarterback Jay Cutler, who's been at odds with the team and rookie coach Josh McDaniels.

The Broncos could face one complicating factor as they attempt to deal Cutler. The New England Patriots, remember, got only a second-round draft choice when they traded quarterback Matt Cassel to the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this offseason. The Broncos undoubtedly will be seeking more, perhaps far more, than a second-round pick for Cutler. Will that create any problems? Perhaps.

Still, there probably will be no shortage of teams in pursuit. Here's a quick look at some teams that could be in the running:

Lions: Detroit has the first and 20th overall selections in the draft, and the Lions simply must emerge from this offseason with a future franchise quarterback as they rebuild from the first 0-16 season in league history. Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford is in the mix for the top overall pick and is said to have had an impressive personal workout for the Lions on Tuesday. The Lions' new brain trust might have to choose between Cutler and Stafford. The decision could determine whether this group of decision-makers goes the way of Matt Millen or actually restores the franchise's respectability.

Jets: Cutler is represented by agent Bus Cook. So was Brett Favre, who landed with the Jets after the melodrama of last offseason produced his split with the Green Bay Packers. Of course, the Jets weren't Favre's preferred landing spot, and things didn't exactly go smoothly for Favre in New York before he retired for a second time. But the Jets certainly need a quarterback and maybe Cook will get another client to the big New York stage.

Buccaneers: The Bucs, like the Lions, were involved in trade talks regarding Cassel and Cutler that created the Broncos' problem with Cutler in the first place. Neither of those proposed three-team deals materialized, but the Buccaneers still have to be considered a top Cutler contender.

Bears: Do the Bears really believe that Kyle Orton is the answer? If they do, they might be fooling themselves.

Vikings: Minnesota already has traded for Sage Rosenfels this offseason to compete with Tarvaris Jackson for the starting job. But should either of them be quarterbacking a team that is, in most other areas, championship-ready? Without Cutler, the Vikings are a Super Bowl contender in the NFC. With him, they perhaps would have to be considered the conference's Super Bowl favorite.

Browns:.Eric Mangini was the Jets' coach last offseason when that team traded for Favre. Now he's in Cleveland, and what the Browns have going for them is that they could send either Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn to Denver in return.

Redskins: Coach Jim Zorn said at the annual league meeting last week that the Redskins weren't among the teams pursuing a trade for Cutler. But that hasn't stopped the speculation linking the club to Cutler. Zorn also said that any NFL coach would have to contemplate the possibilities if the Broncos called and offered Cutler in a trade. One problem for the Redskins is that their options are limited because of a lack of draft picks. And it isn't like Jason Campbell played poorly in his first year with Zorn. It says here that the Redskins trading for Cutler is a long shot, but they're included on the list because so many others are convinced they'll be a factor in this.

Niners: The 49ers reworked Alex Smith's contract to keep him and have him compete with Shaun Hill for the starting job. But getting Cutler would be a significant upgrade.

Jaguars: It's been an offseason of significant changes in Jacksonville. Could another be on the way?

Panthers: There has been talk of the Panthers negotiating a contract extension with quarterback Jake Delhomme. But he's coming off a five-interception performance in a season-ending playoff loss to the Cardinals. That's the sort of game that can change the way an organization feels about a quarterback, although Panthers officials have maintained so far that their decision about Delhomme's future in Carolina shouldn't be based merely on that performance.

By Mark Maske  |  April 1, 2009; 10:39 AM ET  | Category:  Broncos , Quarterbacks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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Cutler has a made a huge mistake in stirring up the waters with Denver. He could have handled this 100 different ways. Denver fans won't forget this. He is a selfish loser that forgets about professionalism... he's going to flop... Shannahan made him better than he really is... good luck loser. I hope you Culpepper yourself accross the league.

Posted by: sendbutton | April 1, 2009 9:32 PM

Unless Zorn is a Snyder TOTAL puppet mouthing what Snyder tells himj to SAY

.....this BLIND commitment to Campbell will get him FIRED and run out of here....sooner than later.....

Posted by: unc1dmo | April 1, 2009 7:56 PM

Cutler's conduct in reaction to a trade that never worked proves that he is a prima donna and a head case, making him a perfect fit for Jerry Jones and the Cowboys or Al Davis and the Raiders. The idea of Detroit giving up the number one pick for him is ludicrous. Stafford has talent and isn't poison. Cutler is acting like a spoiled brat; he will regret his actions before this is done.

Posted by: wcfanman | April 1, 2009 7:12 PM

I live in Colorado. If I were the team owner and had to deal with this, I would either tell him to sit down and be the backup to Chris Sims, or trade him to a team with a topnotch quarterback, knowing he would have to be a backup.

What a crybaby.

When will an owner have the guts to file a breach of contract suit against an athlete?

Posted by: frank33 | April 1, 2009 6:58 PM

For us, Campbell for Cutler is a Significant Upgrade!!

I'm not sure the Broncos will want Campbell, though. He isn't as accurate as Cutler and his release is slower. One advantage Campbell does have is that he can learn a new offense fast - it may be what he does best given he's done it about 8 out of the past 10 years going back to College.

With the Broncos getting a new offense this year, they may just go with Simms and Campbell behind center.

Posted by: agupta1 | April 1, 2009 5:46 PM

What about a trade with the Chiefs?

Cutler for Cassell. I would guess the Chiefs would probably do that.

Posted by: burnsrb | April 1, 2009 4:51 PM

The bucs should start Josh Johnson, a great scrambler with a strong arm, I think he could be a stud QB. If gruden was still there he would have given his first-born and more to acquire Cutler, let's hope their new coach has more sense.

I hope he winds up with the Bears, that is where QB careers go to die and that is exactly what he deserves for all this junior highschool girl melodrama.

Posted by: ozpunk | April 1, 2009 3:01 PM

Detroit-The Lions problem isn't this last 0-16 season, it's years of being mediocre AT BEST. Drafting a QB would be a step (maybe) towards erasing that. Trading for an okay, never-gotten-to-the-playoffs QB who is a potential locker room issue would ensure they win a few more games next year, and continue to wallow in sub-mediocrity beyond that.

Jets-If Cutler can't handle a nick to his pride in Denver, how is he going to fare in New York? NEXT!

Bucs-They could use him, but how much are they willing to give up? Also, this could be a problem with a new coach trying to establish authority and his system.

Bears-Actually not a bad idea for them. Orton's not terrible, but he's not great, and it's hard to see the Bears going too far with him as the guy, and their window is closing.

Vikings-Like the bears, except with a wider window. Probably not a bad fit.

Browns-Isn't this franchise dysfunctional enough? Add Cutler to the mix, and you could put this team on daytime TV and no one could tell the difference.

Redskins-Hmmmm....a guy who can put up big numbers and has a big arm, but hasn't won anything? The Redskins would NEVER be interested in a guy like that, they know better than to get sucked in by a big name.

Niners-Cutler's fragile ego and Singletary? I'd like to see this.

Jaguars-I have no opinion on this.

Panthers-Really? A bad game submarines a quarterbacks reputation to the point you're willing to take on a headcase who's never won in the playoffs? Okay....

Posted by: grimesman | April 1, 2009 2:34 PM

Can someone please call Jerry Jones because the Cowboys can used Cutler.

Posted by: cmgredman | April 1, 2009 2:19 PM

The Redskins should not be on this list. We have our quarterback Jason Campbell! It doesn't matter how many clowns say that we need Cutler. We don't.

Go JC!!! Go Redskins!!!

Posted by: punchdaclock | April 1, 2009 2:04 PM

Who ever wants Cutler better have a ton of clean water in their city. They will need it to help Cutler clean the sand out of his vagina.

Posted by: SalmonRushdie | April 1, 2009 12:47 PM

They should keep him and bench his whiny ass. Don't cowtow to his demands Denver!

Posted by: ozpunk | April 1, 2009 12:02 PM

The problem with this analysis is that it is all one-sided? How about looking at it from the Bronco's perspective? They spent a lot during the offseason, presumably to win now, not a few years down the road. This implies they need a very good quarterback in return or that they think Chris Sims is the answer. Do they really think Chris Sims can win now? I doubt it. So, which teams can give the Broncos a decent QB? This is why the Browns almost certainly have to be involved, if not directly, then in a 3-team trade.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | April 1, 2009 11:40 AM

I see the Browns ... for BOTH Anderson and Quinn (in exchange for Cutler and a ham sandwich).

Posted by: dcsween | April 1, 2009 11:40 AM

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