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Old 03-20-2009, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default Lions should pass on Cutler

ALLEN PARK -- Right player, right price.

That's the front-office motto at Lions headquarters. Add a question mark and it's also what Martin Mayhew & Co. might be asking themselves as they contemplate a bid for one of the NFL's top young quarterbacks, Jay Cutler, who has formally requested a trade from Denver.

The Broncos, for what it's worth, are telling teams their Pro Bowl problem child isn't for sale. And I'm clearly in the dwindling minority in thinking there's a decent chance Cutler stays put, perhaps with a generous raise.

But what if Cutler and his agent, Bus Cook, who has had a hand in steering this relationship over the cliff with rookie coach Josh McDaniels, get their way?

Do the Lions jump right in and help break Cutler's fall?

The fans say, unequivocally, yes. I say, buyer beware, and not just for the obvious reasons.

It's not the public pouting that commenced once word leaked McDaniels was entertaining trade offers to snag Matt Cassel, his quarterback in New England. It's not even necessarily Cutler's 17-20 record as a starter, capped by last season's December collapse, though I do think that's a red flag.

I'm also willing to ignore the petulance of the last few weeks -- not returning his owner's calls, skipping the start of offseason workouts -- because I don't buy it. I think it's simply an agent-fueled means to an end for Cutler, forcing his way out of a situation he decided he no longer wanted to be a part of, right or wrong.

And given Cook's track record -- Brett Favre's offseason angst is only the most recent example -- I think Cutler knows where he'd like to end up. The New York Jets? Tampa Bay? Just a guess, but Detroit's probably not at the top of the list, even though one of Cook's other high-profile clients just happens to be Calvin Johnson.

Cutler will want contract
Asked Wednesday whose passes he wanted to catch in the fall, Johnson started laughing.

"You guys are a trip, man," he said. "Daunte (Culpepper) is our starter right now and we're working with Daunte and we're going 110 percent every day."

Another minority opinion: This Culpepper reclamation project isn't a complete waste of time. He's only 32, finally in shape, motivated, a leader and comfortable in offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's system. The knocks on him are valid -- he's four years removed from any real success in the NFL, and he's not exactly a whiz at reading defenses. But neither is Cutler, from what I can see, nor Matthew Stafford, whom I don't think the Lions will draft No. 1 overall. (Right now, it's looking more like Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith.)

But here's the thing: Culpepper's not getting paid like Cutler or Stafford would be in Detroit. And if you don't think Cutler's going to get a new contract in the end, you're ignoring the past.

And that's my point: The Lions should tread lightly here, so as to avoid their own past.

Stick to the plan
Cutler in a Lions uniform next fall, new logo and all? It's tempting. But the Lions have given in to temptation before, routinely veering off course at great cost. And if there's one promise they'd better keep, it's this one.

"Where teams get in trouble and where organizations get in trouble," team president Tom Lewand said in late December, "is where they deviate from their core principles and their core philosophy."

So if the plan is to build through the draft -- and build in the trenches, where I can count on two or three fingers the number of starters under the age of 30 -- they'd better stick to it.

And if it's really going to take a package of draft choices, like the 20th and 33rd next month -- remember, the No. 1 pick is more poison pill than carrot -- plus another pick next year in lieu of a starting-caliber player, then I think the Lions should pass.

At that price -- essentially trading three starters for one on a roster starving for more -- why not just draft Stafford and start grooming? He has the same arm, many of the same flaws, and he just might have more intangibles.

Now then, if the price isn't that high -- and we might get a better sense when the NFL owners meetings begin Sunday in Dana Point, Calif. -- it's obviously worth a shot. And if we've learned anything in Mayhew's short tenure as general manager, it's that he's not shy about talking trade.

But talk is cheap, and mistakes aren't in the NFL. The Lions should understand that better than most.

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...903190371/1031
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:44 PM   #2
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What's funny is that the first pick of the draft will probably demand as large a salary as Cutler.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:49 PM   #3
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There would be a lot more intrigue if there was a Mario Williams type in this draft......THEN that #1 would be oh so tempting.

As it stands..I agree it is a poison pill.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:04 PM   #4
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The Broncos, for what it's worth, are telling teams their Pro Bowl problem child isn't for sale.

Problem child.

Wait, I thought he had no rep as a problem child. I thought he was squeaky-clean?
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:09 PM   #5
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And if it's really going to take a package of draft choices, like the 20th and 33rd next month -- remember, the No. 1 pick is more poison pill than carrot -- plus another pick next year in lieu of a starting-caliber player, then I think the Lions should pass.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:14 PM   #6
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I kind of like STL and Clev options better. Higher picks could give us ammo to collect another pick and still get a quality player.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:18 PM   #7
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These hacks don't know anything more than what they read on espn or what highlights are on nfl network, its popular to call him the "problem child", when they don't know anything at all. Besides, it's Detroit, they haven't won anything since, what the 40's?
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:20 PM   #8
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These hacks don't know anything more than what they read on espn or what highlights are on nfl network, its popular to call him the "problem child", when they don't know anything at all. Besides, it's Detroit, they haven't won anything since, what the 40's?
Um just because you think he isn't a problem child doesn't mean a lot of others do. He is a petulant child whose immaturity is going to inhibit his potential until he grows up.
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Old 03-20-2009, 10:45 PM   #9
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Um just because you think he isn't a problem child doesn't mean a lot of others do. He is a petulant child whose immaturity is going to inhibit his potential until he grows up.
Look, the real issue here is this... whether he IS a problem-child or not, he sure is selling himself like one right now.

So, perception is reality, to this extent.

Someone mentioned that a GM might see this opportunity as a time to "steal" Cutler away from us, and for this reason... wouldn't be devaluing his trade worth at all.

But, that doesn't compute. Any GM with a pulse understands that when a player has (or is developing) a rep, you use that to your advantage in trade negotiations, even if that particular GM may secretly not believe the rep to be true.

It's simple negotiation strategy.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:15 PM   #10
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Look, the real issue here is this... whether he IS a problem-child or not, he sure is selling himself like one right now.

So, perception is reality, to this extent.

Someone mentioned that a GM might see this opportunity as a time to "steal" Cutler away from us, and for this reason... wouldn't be devaluing his trade worth at all.

But, that doesn't compute. Any GM with a pulse understands that when a player has (or is developing) a rep, you use that to your advantage in trade negotiations, even if that particular GM may secretly not believe the rep to be true.

It's simple negotiation strategy.
The Pats took Randy Moss, the Jets took Brett Favre, Dallas took Pac-Man freaking Jones.

Franchise QB's don't just grow on trees. Teams want him and they don't give a rats ass about what's going on between him and Denver. If the Broncos DO decide to trade him, they will make out like bandits pick/player wise. Teams will bid against each other and mortgage their future drafts for this guy, I guarantee it. For McPatsy, who comes from a place where players don't mean ****, and draft obsession is everything... I'd find this too hard of a prospect for him to pass up.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:27 PM   #11
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I think every team but the Broncos should pass on Cutler.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:32 PM   #12
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The Pats took Randy Moss, the Jets took Brett Favre, Dallas took Pac-Man freaking Jones.
Exactly. Thanks for backing me up.

Everyone has a price. But, negative connotation doesn't lead to additional value.

If Pac Man Jones was a model citizen, he'd be breaking the NFL bank. Instead, he's just trying to hold onto a job.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:44 PM   #13
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Exactly. Thanks for backing me up.

Everyone has a price. But, negative connotation doesn't lead to additional value.

If Pac Man Jones was a model citizen, he'd be breaking the NFL bank. Instead, he's just trying to hold onto a job.
Big difference between Pac Man and Cutler though. Cutler has a spotless police record to my knowledge. Pac Man should have trouble finding a real job with his list of deeds let alone an NFL job.

BTW Randy Moss (known trouble maker and discontent player) signed at the time the largest WR contract in NFL history after getting his way out of Oakland with the help of Bus Cook. All Cutler has to do is go to a team, play 1 good year and he's got the next biggest contract in NFL history (as I believe the CBA will be solved before we have an uncapped year).
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:50 PM   #14
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Big difference between Pac Man and Cutler though. Cutler has a spotless police record to my knowledge. Pac Man should have trouble finding a real job with his list of deeds let alone an NFL job.

BTW Randy Moss (known trouble maker and discontent player) signed at the time the largest WR contract in NFL history after getting his way out of Oakland with the help of Bus Cook. All Cutler has to do is go to a team, play 1 good year and he's got the next biggest contract in NFL history (as I believe the CBA will be solved before we have an uncapped year).
Again, we're in absolute, total 100% agreement that there are teams out there that will sign mass murderers, and I'm ALMOST being literal. St. Louis suited up a guy who killed a woman while her body was practically still warm.

We agree 100% that ANY and I mean ANYone can find NFL work. Lawrence Phillips was the biggest turd in history, and he continued to find suckers.

Now, the point here isn't to compare Cutler to Phillips. The point is simply to say that telling me that NFL teams will look beyond indiscretions is preaching to the choir.

The point, and it's a simple one... is just that a guy with a "clean" rep, being shopped by a team with no perceived position of weakness will do better than the alternative.

As I said before, it's just math. I'm not sure how the conversation got to this point, or why it needs to. It's just simple logic and math put together.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:53 PM   #15
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What's funny is that the first pick of the draft will probably demand as large a salary as Cutler.
Yes, but if they stick to their so-called principles and they take a tackle then that pick MAY be worth it. What if they get a franchise LT like Clady in the first pick? Much MUCH more valuable to the team than the QB IMO. You can get a decent QB and stick him behind a good O-line and give him Calvin Johnson and do well offensively. If Detroit is smart they will stick to their new philosophy and build through the draft.

Thats what people around here want Denver to do, why shouldn't Detroit?
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:59 PM   #16
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Yes, but if they stick to their so-called principles and they take a tackle then that pick MAY be worth it. What if they get a franchise LT like Clady in the first pick? Much MUCH more valuable to the team than the QB IMO. You can get a decent QB and stick him behind a good O-line and give him Calvin Johnson and do well offensively. If Detroit is smart they will stick to their new philosophy and build through the draft.

Thats what people around here want Denver to do, why shouldn't Detroit?
I work with two hardcore Lions fans, which is sort of comical. But, the mindset you expressed seems to be the mindset they're in. Obviously they're just two fans, but their sentiment was that they didn't feel that mortgaging the future for Cutler was the way to go. But, they did have interest at a reduced rate, of course.

If I'm the Lions, I probably don't make the trade, either. Too many other holes. In fact, I'd trade down and try to fill out the team before worrying about a "gunslinger" QB.

To me, the spot for Cutler that is so obvious it's painful is Minnesota. They're an instant contender with a respectable QB. That stiff they have up there now his horrific, and Sage R. isn't the answer, either.
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Old 03-21-2009, 04:17 AM   #17
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:07 AM   #18
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So will Minnesota make another Hershel Walker type trade that is the question.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:22 AM   #19
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ALLEN PARK -- Right player, right price.

That's the front-office motto at Lions headquarters. Add a question mark and it's also what Martin Mayhew & Co. might be asking themselves as they contemplate a bid for one of the NFL's top young quarterbacks, Jay Cutler, who has formally requested a trade from Denver.

The Broncos, for what it's worth, are telling teams their Pro Bowl problem child isn't for sale. And I'm clearly in the dwindling minority in thinking there's a decent chance Cutler stays put, perhaps with a generous raise.

But what if Cutler and his agent, Bus Cook, who has had a hand in steering this relationship over the cliff with rookie coach Josh McDaniels, get their way?

Do the Lions jump right in and help break Cutler's fall?

The fans say, unequivocally, yes. I say, buyer beware, and not just for the obvious reasons.

It's not the public pouting that commenced once word leaked McDaniels was entertaining trade offers to snag Matt Cassel, his quarterback in New England. It's not even necessarily Cutler's 17-20 record as a starter, capped by last season's December collapse, though I do think that's a red flag.

I'm also willing to ignore the petulance of the last few weeks -- not returning his owner's calls, skipping the start of offseason workouts -- because I don't buy it. I think it's simply an agent-fueled means to an end for Cutler, forcing his way out of a situation he decided he no longer wanted to be a part of, right or wrong.

And given Cook's track record -- Brett Favre's offseason angst is only the most recent example -- I think Cutler knows where he'd like to end up. The New York Jets? Tampa Bay? Just a guess, but Detroit's probably not at the top of the list, even though one of Cook's other high-profile clients just happens to be Calvin Johnson.

Cutler will want contract
Asked Wednesday whose passes he wanted to catch in the fall, Johnson started laughing.

"You guys are a trip, man," he said. "Daunte (Culpepper) is our starter right now and we're working with Daunte and we're going 110 percent every day."

Another minority opinion: This Culpepper reclamation project isn't a complete waste of time. He's only 32, finally in shape, motivated, a leader and comfortable in offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's system. The knocks on him are valid -- he's four years removed from any real success in the NFL, and he's not exactly a whiz at reading defenses. But neither is Cutler, from what I can see, nor Matthew Stafford, whom I don't think the Lions will draft No. 1 overall. (Right now, it's looking more like Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith.)

But here's the thing: Culpepper's not getting paid like Cutler or Stafford would be in Detroit. And if you don't think Cutler's going to get a new contract in the end, you're ignoring the past.

And that's my point: The Lions should tread lightly here, so as to avoid their own past.

Stick to the plan
Cutler in a Lions uniform next fall, new logo and all? It's tempting. But the Lions have given in to temptation before, routinely veering off course at great cost. And if there's one promise they'd better keep, it's this one.

"Where teams get in trouble and where organizations get in trouble," team president Tom Lewand said in late December, "is where they deviate from their core principles and their core philosophy."

So if the plan is to build through the draft -- and build in the trenches, where I can count on two or three fingers the number of starters under the age of 30 -- they'd better stick to it.

And if it's really going to take a package of draft choices, like the 20th and 33rd next month -- remember, the No. 1 pick is more poison pill than carrot -- plus another pick next year in lieu of a starting-caliber player, then I think the Lions should pass.

At that price -- essentially trading three starters for one on a roster starving for more -- why not just draft Stafford and start grooming? He has the same arm, many of the same flaws, and he just might have more intangibles.

Now then, if the price isn't that high -- and we might get a better sense when the NFL owners meetings begin Sunday in Dana Point, Calif. -- it's obviously worth a shot. And if we've learned anything in Mayhew's short tenure as general manager, it's that he's not shy about talking trade.

But talk is cheap, and mistakes aren't in the NFL. The Lions should understand that better than most.

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll...903190371/1031
First of all, the fallout or perceived petulance is the only reason there is a potential opportunity to get Cutler. So why even mention that?

Second of all, its nowhere close to being safe to assume that Stafford is as good a Cutler. Cutler did more with less in college. Cutler was also a senior when he was coming out of Vanderbilt.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:22 AM   #20
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I don't think Cutler is going anywhere. However, if he does, I don't want a deal with Detroit.
I'd rather get a deal with a team who has a legit QB who can win games while we groom a young QB. Sea, Stl, and Cleveland fit that.... Not Det
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:43 AM   #21
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Exactly. Thanks for backing me up.

Everyone has a price. But, negative connotation doesn't lead to additional value.

If Pac Man Jones was a model citizen, he'd be breaking the NFL bank. Instead, he's just trying to hold onto a job.
Pac Man got beat like a drum all last year.

He hasn't played at a decent level since pre-year suspension.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:44 AM   #22
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The Lions shouldn't pass on anybody who can help them get that ever elusive 1 win to improve over last season.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:01 AM   #23
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The Pats took Randy Moss, the Jets took Brett Favre, Dallas took Pac-Man freaking Jones.
Not really good comparisons at all. Nothing was really given up to acquire these players, whereas teams are going to have to mortgage the future to acquire Jay. So if these acquisitions didn't work out they could cut and run. A Cutler acquisition, on the other hand, is a long term investment with an uncertain payoff.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:11 AM   #24
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Not really good comparisons at all. Nothing was really given up to acquire these players, whereas teams are going to have to mortgage the future to acquire Jay. So if these acquisitions didn't work out they could cut and run. A Cutler acquisition, on the other hand, is a long term investment with an uncertain payoff.
Good post, but poor finish, or just unclear maybe.

I think Cutler's pay off is a lot more certain than the other 3 who came in with large question marks that dropped their value:

Randy's Oakland time put his ability, and especially his effort in question. Couple that with franchise criticism and wanting out that makes Cutler look like he's speaking in glowing terms about the FO.

Favre was pushing 40 and spent the previous year in a scaled down playbook focusing on short WCO high % passes and yac.

Pacman hadn't even played football in over a year.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:23 AM   #25
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...or just unclear maybe.
I think just unclear perhaps. I agree that I'd have more faith in Jay "succeeding" than the other 3, but Jay is riskier from an "investment" perspective because you have to invest a lot to get him. Moss and Jones could be cut if they didn't work out, and Favre was purely a short term proposition because of his age. For Cutler you're giving up a lot in the hopes of having a long term answer at the most important position on the team.

And just so we're clear on where I stand, I hope things work out and Jay stays in Denver. I think with the possible exception of Minnesota that Denver is the best place for him.
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