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Old 03-07-2009, 01:09 PM   #1
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Default Burger Bill: Jay Cutler Saga 3/6

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcwest/0...e-forward.html

No matter whom you side with, or whether the Broncos' fractured relationship with franchise quarterback Jay Cutler gets repaired, the Josh McDaniels era in Denver has started on shaky ground.

No team in the NFL has dealt with such unnecessary controversy this offseason.

The entire organization must learn from this. Under the tandem of owner Pat Bowlen and coach Mike Shanahan, the Broncos were known as a team players wanted to play for.

After the McDaniels-Cutler fiasco, that could change. Denver may not be looked at as such a desirable destination after McDaniels engaged in trade talks for Cutler last week, reportedly having considered bringing on board Matt Cassel, who played for him in New England.

The Broncos have announced they will not trade Cutler now and the two sides are expected to communicate soon in an attempt to mend fences. Even if Cutler and McDaniels, who Cutler has maintained were building a strong, new relationship, can find a common ground, it will hover over the 32-year-old coach as he tries to turn around Denver, which stumbled in the final two seasons of the Shanahan era.

Denver must learn a valuable lesson from the saga. Things like this just can't happen again. Yes, it could all end well, but this was a serious warning sign for a team that is trying to restore its winning ways.

Here are three areas Denver must pay attention to as it tries to move forward from this public relations disaster.

Bowlen must take charge: Bowlen is not used to being in the spotlight for such drama. It mus be eating at him.

Bowlen has a reputation around the league as being one of the better owners. He is smart, gives his team what it needs to win and his main business interest is the Broncos. He loves his team and he is a daily presence.

He must become a bigger presence. In fact, Bowlen must live up to his own words. It starts with him. He seemed to get that when he fired Shanahan. He made a point to say that he would be making the final call on matters.

Under Shanahan, it was well known in league circles that Shanahan ran the show in Denver. Bowlen is a quiet, shy, nice man who has believed his football people should run the football side.

Still, many thought Shanahan took advantage of his ultra-long leash and there were no checks and balances in Denver the past couple of years. Bowlen seemed to sense public perception by making a point of saying he'd be more involved after firing Shanahan.
But, the word around Denver was that McDaniels, 32, was given the keys to the house in the early stages of his Denver tenure, just as Shanahan was.

Now that this Cutler situation has blown up in Denver's face, perhaps Bowlen truly will take charge.

McDaniels needs to be more open minded: McDaniels can make up for this situation quickly, but it is absurd that he is looked at so skeptically less than two months after being hired. Remember, he is six months away from coaching his first game and he's already a villain in some circles in Denver.

But the truth is, McDaniels put himself in this situation. He talked about Cassel despite having a Pro Bowl quarterback who is 25. That raised questions. Why would McDaniels want to trade the younger, more experienced, more accomplished Cutler for Cassel? Perhaps this Patriot Way thing has gotten a tad clouded.

McDaniels has been able to build his team the way he wants and he is making wholesale changes, all the way down to replacing long snapper Mike Leach, who was virtually perfect in Denver in seven seasons, for the equally solid Lonie Paxton. Paxton was with New England. He is good but so is Leach, and many people around Denver didn't think this move was necessary, especially on the first day of free agency with Denver having so many needs on defense. A long snapper is a luxury in free agency and Denver already had a solid snapper.

It is completely within McDaniels' right to construct the team the way he wants, but he has to realize there is a world out outside of New England.

Ultimately, McDaniels' biggest problem was he discussed trading for Cassel and trading Cutler without getting it done. If you are going to investigate this type of dramatic move, you better get it done or it will explode. And, boy, did it explode.

McDaniels is young and he is going to make mistakes. He made a huge miscue weeks into his tenure. He can and he will likely survive it, but he must learn from it.

Reward Cutler: A major theme between the Broncos and Cutler's upcoming meeting will likely be trust.

The Broncos said this week that they will not trade Cutler, and they were emphatic about it. Still, the meeting will be lively to say the least. Cutler told ESPN's Chris Mortensen last week the Broncos were denying seeking a trade while he said he knew for a fact they were in trade discussions. He wants the Broncos to level with him.

Cutler will certainly want to be reassured when he meets with McDaniels. Cutler is open to talking and staying, but those close to him say he wants to make sure he can trust the team.
Yes, Denver said it won't trade him, but since Cassel is off the market there are no clear options as Cutler's replacement. Denver will likely have to do more than just say he won't be traded to appease the quarterback.

Here's what Denver should do: give Cutler a long contract extension. He has three more seasons remaining on his rookie contract that he signed in 2006, so it would be a bit unusual giving him a new contract with just half of his existing deal over. But it is also unusual to talk about dealing a 25-year-old Pro Bowl player.

Giving Cutler a new contract would be an ultimate sign of good faith by Denver. And it would end any trade discussions or talk of Cutler trying to leave through restricted free agency in two years. It would make life normal again. Denver is teeming with salary-cap room and this would be a good time to do it.

Plus, there is no reason not to. Cutler is a quality player who is going to be in the league for a long time. If the two sides work out their differences, the Broncos would likely want to re-sign him down the road anyway. Why not do it now?

If the Broncos want to do right by Cutler and make a positive out of this offseason disaster, giving him an extension will go a long way in moving on from this drama
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:12 PM   #2
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blah blah blah

Is this seriously going to be the go to when Sports writers need something to talk about all year?
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:12 PM   #3
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Stopped reading after denver not being a top destination. Ask Dawkins and the other 11 FA's. Go stuff your fat face Burger
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:22 PM   #4
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I think we are going to be hearing about Cutler until another Baseball player tests dirty for roids.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:32 PM   #5
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Picks #1 and 20 in the first round, keeping our #12, plus Matt Cassell - who knows Josh's offense inside and out - minus a 2nd and 4rd. Yes, the fallout now is very awkward, but you gotta listen to that deal, you gotta explore it. Might have even been a deal we should've taken.

But the aspect of this whole saga that bugs me - that I've seen very few people mention is - why is Josh taking all the heat? Why are writers and posters saying things like, "Josh wants to put his stamp on the team," "McDaniels will have to patch up his relationship with Cutler," etc ... etc ... Do you see the problem? We're SUPPOSED to have a real GM now, Colonel Xanders ... HE'S in charge of personnel, supposedly. Unless he's another impotent John Beake/Ted Sundquist type. And if he is a weak GM like those guys were, then why tf did we fire draft genius Jim Goodman?

Something's amiss here ...
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:35 PM   #6
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Stopped reading after denver not being a top destination. Ask Dawkins and the other 11 FA's. Go stuff your fat face Burger
Dawkins deal went down the night before.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:41 PM   #7
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Dawkins deal went down the night before.
Actually he didn't sign until Saturday amidst the whole fiasco.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:46 PM   #8
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Dawkins deal went down the night before.
yeah, and the FA are not exactly household names.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:49 PM   #9
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yeah, and the FA are not exactly household names.
Who cares that they aren't named Haynesworth of Scott or Lewis. The team didn't chase them. Fat Bill is suggesting players may not want to play here. Yet the Broncos landed a huge load with many of them saying they are buying into the philosophy. If players were leery they wouldn't be saying that.

And you need to stop thinking about big name FA. Those days are done. FA from here on out is replacement parts for the machine. Not replacement names.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:56 PM   #10
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blah blah blah

Is this seriously going to be the go to when Sports writers need something to talk about all year?
That was my precise reaction after reading about a paragraph of that drivel.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:59 PM   #11
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My question still remains...where the hell was Bowlen in all of this
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:04 PM   #12
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Any chance this meeting flops and Cutler is a Det Lion in 09.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #13
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A lot of what Burger-and-fries has to say in this article is pretty specious and even amateurish, but the point about extending Cutler is a good one.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:27 PM   #14
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A lot of what Burger-and-fries has to say in this article is pretty specious and even amateurish, but the point about extending Cutler is a good one.
Only ways I can see Cutler a longtime Bronco QB

1. Broncos extend contract now show commitment after this trade talk
2. Win games limit mistakes.

3. If Cutler can handle more teaching and in your face accountability during games under Josh. Pocket passing like NE likes I hope Josh tweaks it to allow Jay to move more then Brady and Cassel.

4. Jay matures real fast.

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Old 03-07-2009, 02:45 PM   #15
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Stopped reading after denver not being a top destination. Ask Dawkins and the other 11 FA's. Go stuff your fat face Burger
With the exception of Dawkins, our FA acquisitions are pretty much scrubs. I mean, Lamont Jordan?

Not one other new FA is really significantly better than the player whose roster slot he'll be filling.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:57 PM   #16
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With the exception of Dawkins, our FA acquisitions are pretty much scrubs. I mean, Lamont Jordan?

Not one other new FA is really significantly better than the player whose roster slot he'll be filling.


So you are saying our other safety replacement isn't better than the Manual or the other 3 that failed last season? You are saying the LB we brought in isn't better than Webster or Winborn? Man you really must not actually watch the games. If those players that were replaced were so much better or even as good than what was brought in why has only one been signed by a team? I can't believe you said that.

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Old 03-07-2009, 03:00 PM   #17
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So you are saying our other safety replacement isn't better than the Manual or the other 3 that failed last season? You are saying the LB we brought in isn't better than Webster or Winborn? Man you really must not actually watch the games. Or you don't know what you are talking about. If those players that were replaced were so much better than what was brought in why has only one been signed by a team? I can't believe you said that.
James Sanders resigned with NE for less money than we're paying Dawkins.

That one hurt to hear.
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:01 PM   #18
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James Sanders resigned with NE for less money than we're paying Dawkins.

That one hurt to hear.
So Dawkins is the better of the 2..........
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by chaz View Post
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcwest/0...e-forward.html

No matter whom you side with, or whether the Broncos' fractured relationship with franchise quarterback Jay Cutler gets repaired, the Josh McDaniels era in Denver has started on shaky ground.

No team in the NFL has dealt with such unnecessary controversy this offseason.

The entire organization must learn from this. Under the tandem of owner Pat Bowlen and coach Mike Shanahan, the Broncos were known as a team players wanted to play for.

After the McDaniels-Cutler fiasco, that could change. Denver may not be looked at as such a desirable destination after McDaniels engaged in trade talks for Cutler last week, reportedly having considered bringing on board Matt Cassel, who played for him in New England.

The Broncos have announced they will not trade Cutler now and the two sides are expected to communicate soon in an attempt to mend fences. Even if Cutler and McDaniels, who Cutler has maintained were building a strong, new relationship, can find a common ground, it will hover over the 32-year-old coach as he tries to turn around Denver, which stumbled in the final two seasons of the Shanahan era.

Denver must learn a valuable lesson from the saga. Things like this just can't happen again. Yes, it could all end well, but this was a serious warning sign for a team that is trying to restore its winning ways.

Here are three areas Denver must pay attention to as it tries to move forward from this public relations disaster.

Bowlen must take charge: Bowlen is not used to being in the spotlight for such drama. It mus be eating at him.

Bowlen has a reputation around the league as being one of the better owners. He is smart, gives his team what it needs to win and his main business interest is the Broncos. He loves his team and he is a daily presence.

He must become a bigger presence. In fact, Bowlen must live up to his own words. It starts with him. He seemed to get that when he fired Shanahan. He made a point to say that he would be making the final call on matters.

Under Shanahan, it was well known in league circles that Shanahan ran the show in Denver. Bowlen is a quiet, shy, nice man who has believed his football people should run the football side.

Still, many thought Shanahan took advantage of his ultra-long leash and there were no checks and balances in Denver the past couple of years. Bowlen seemed to sense public perception by making a point of saying he'd be more involved after firing Shanahan.
But, the word around Denver was that McDaniels, 32, was given the keys to the house in the early stages of his Denver tenure, just as Shanahan was.

Now that this Cutler situation has blown up in Denver's face, perhaps Bowlen truly will take charge.

McDaniels needs to be more open minded: McDaniels can make up for this situation quickly, but it is absurd that he is looked at so skeptically less than two months after being hired. Remember, he is six months away from coaching his first game and he's already a villain in some circles in Denver.

But the truth is, McDaniels put himself in this situation. He talked about Cassel despite having a Pro Bowl quarterback who is 25. That raised questions. Why would McDaniels want to trade the younger, more experienced, more accomplished Cutler for Cassel? Perhaps this Patriot Way thing has gotten a tad clouded.

McDaniels has been able to build his team the way he wants and he is making wholesale changes, all the way down to replacing long snapper Mike Leach, who was virtually perfect in Denver in seven seasons, for the equally solid Lonie Paxton. Paxton was with New England. He is good but so is Leach, and many people around Denver didn't think this move was necessary, especially on the first day of free agency with Denver having so many needs on defense. A long snapper is a luxury in free agency and Denver already had a solid snapper.

It is completely within McDaniels' right to construct the team the way he wants, but he has to realize there is a world out outside of New England.

Ultimately, McDaniels' biggest problem was he discussed trading for Cassel and trading Cutler without getting it done. If you are going to investigate this type of dramatic move, you better get it done or it will explode. And, boy, did it explode.

McDaniels is young and he is going to make mistakes. He made a huge miscue weeks into his tenure. He can and he will likely survive it, but he must learn from it.

Reward Cutler: A major theme between the Broncos and Cutler's upcoming meeting will likely be trust.

The Broncos said this week that they will not trade Cutler, and they were emphatic about it. Still, the meeting will be lively to say the least. Cutler told ESPN's Chris Mortensen last week the Broncos were denying seeking a trade while he said he knew for a fact they were in trade discussions. He wants the Broncos to level with him.

Cutler will certainly want to be reassured when he meets with McDaniels. Cutler is open to talking and staying, but those close to him say he wants to make sure he can trust the team.
Yes, Denver said it won't trade him, but since Cassel is off the market there are no clear options as Cutler's replacement. Denver will likely have to do more than just say he won't be traded to appease the quarterback.

Here's what Denver should do: give Cutler a long contract extension. He has three more seasons remaining on his rookie contract that he signed in 2006, so it would be a bit unusual giving him a new contract with just half of his existing deal over. But it is also unusual to talk about dealing a 25-year-old Pro Bowl player.

Giving Cutler a new contract would be an ultimate sign of good faith by Denver. And it would end any trade discussions or talk of Cutler trying to leave through restricted free agency in two years. It would make life normal again. Denver is teeming with salary-cap room and this would be a good time to do it.

Plus, there is no reason not to. Cutler is a quality player who is going to be in the league for a long time. If the two sides work out their differences, the Broncos would likely want to re-sign him down the road anyway. Why not do it now?

If the Broncos want to do right by Cutler and make a positive out of this offseason disaster, giving him an extension will go a long way in moving on from this drama
Want to know when I first realized McDaniels was not the young genius coach many of us wanted to believe he was? It was when he scoffed at the idea of bringing in a Yoga practice for the players. This guy may end up being good but he is not cutting edge guy that you want to get when you risk your franchise on a 32 year old Head Coach.
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:14 PM   #20
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Stopped reading after denver not being a top destination. Ask Dawkins and the other 11 FA's. Go stuff your fat face Burger
They signed here for the money. Not because they loved this team or because it was inherently better than anywhere else or anything like that. They signed here for the only reason that anyone should sign here or anywhere, because it was the best offer.
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:15 PM   #21
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.

Bowlen must take charge: Bowlen is not used to being in the spotlight for such drama. It must be eating at him.
Actually, no Bill, its drinking at him.
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:19 PM   #22
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Good Lord Williamson is an awful writer. Not just limited and obvious in his thinking, but technically bad as well. He simply can not write. It's like reading a journalism student's writing.
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:26 PM   #23
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They signed here for the money. Not because they loved this team or because it was inherently better than anywhere else or anything like that. They signed here for the only reason that anyone should sign here or anywhere, because it was the best offer.
Right.......
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Old 03-07-2009, 03:57 PM   #24
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Stopped reading after denver not being a top destination. Ask Dawkins and the other 11 FA's. Go stuff your fat face Burger
Actually, Dawkins was signed during all of the fiasco. We were hearing about Dawkins "rumored" signing Friday Night.

Since the Cutler thing happened, we have lost out on Ward, Canty, and Lewis... none of which even visited the Broncos though Ward had committed to visiting and would have had a better playing opportunity in Denver.

I've been saying the exact same thing about this blunder from the get-go. This is huge egg on the face of a once proud franchise. I know you don't want to admit it Nick, but the Chargers and Chiefs are playing a smarter ball game than the Denver Broncos right now. You could argue that the Raiders are playing it smarter this offseason as well. Right now the Broncos are a team in disarray and anybody that doesn't want to admit it prefers to overlook the obvious.

Do tell Nick, what are you going to say when the Broncos completely scrap their offense and start from scratch? What are you going to say when McD decides his offense is to precious for the public and media to see and closes camp to us all? What are you going to say when guys like Cutler, Scheffler, and Marshall are eventually replaced by inferior talent like Cassel and Gaffney (that would be robots that don't think outside of McD's box!)?

The only thing I don't agree with when it comes to Burger Bill's story... We can't pay Cutler now. You have to wait a year and make sure that he can get over this and he has to show some maturation...on and off the field! Sadly, we could do just that and nobody would have questioned it had McD not stepped on his crank. TWO Days is all it took him!

McD is a talented coach and I believe in him as a talent evaluator. I think when the season starts he'll be a good, maybe even great, head coach. Let him coach the players and he'll be top notch. But tell me, when Bowlen made such a big mistake with Shanahan that it warranted firing him, why would he go right back to the same situation? Funny that Bowlen is in hiding as all of this goes down!
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:01 PM   #25
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Want to know when I first realized McDaniels was not the young genius coach many of us wanted to believe he was? It was when he scoffed at the idea of bringing in a Yoga practice for the players. This guy may end up being good but he is not cutting edge guy that you want to get when you risk your franchise on a 32 year old Head Coach.
I don't think he scoffed at the idea. I think he was surprised that he had to make the call on that kind of thing. Last year was the first time the Broncos had a Yoga Instructor on staff. I spoke with him last year at camp a few times. Good dude, he is the Yoga Instructor at CU as well. Been there for a long time. He brought some of the Cowboy players (Gurode I think was one of them) over and chatted with them for a couple minutes during the Broncos/Cowboys practices. He mentioned then that this was the first year for the Broncos and Yoga and he wasn't sure what to expect.
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