The League

Doug Farrar

Doug Farrar

A staff writer

Great Ones Aren't Divas


Being high-maintenance would seem to be one of the things that go along with being a quarterback -- it's a marquee position, it will attract a fair share of attention hounds and the level of responsibility required to do it well at the NFL level is absolutely staggering. If you have a guy who can play the position, you may be inclined to forgive any diva behavior.

Truth is, most marquee quarterbacks are more difficult to deal with when it comes to those who disappoint them. Whether it's Peyton Manning inadvertently throwing his offensive line under the bus after a playoff loss or Jay Cutler's recent anger at the Broncos' front office, you'd think that megalomaniacal behavior is a common theme for the position.

But most quarterbacks deal with enough failure, especially in the early stages of their NFL careers, that only the hard-working and relatively humble can survive the life. The classic story is of the Colts vetting Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning at the 1998 Scouting Combine. Jim Mora's team had the first pick in the draft, and knew they'd be taking one of the college stars. When asked what he'd do with first overall pick money, Manning said he'd put it in the bank and get to work -- a sentiment echoed a decade later by Atlanta's Matt Ryan, perhaps the best rookie quarterback ever. Leaf, asked the same question, said that he and his buddies would be heading off to Vegas. The Colts took Manning, the Chargers were stuck with Leaf, and the rest is history.

Since this particular question takes the Jay Cutler situation into account, I have to say that I don't think Cutler is unjustified in his anger. He's become the face of the franchise, ended Denver's decade-long search for the next great quarterback after John Elway, and sparkled statistically despite the fact that his elite receiver (Brandon Marshall) is among the NFL's most inconsistent. His reward for this was to be treated as mere property in an ill-advised trade scenario that never panned out.

While I don't believe that the Broncos are obliged to grovel at Cutler's feet, an explanation and reconciliation is absolutely necessary. Cutler is worth that step, as is any other marquee quarterback.

By Doug Farrar  |  March 12, 2009; 6:35 AM ET  | Category:  Denver Broncos , Doug Farrar Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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