Jay Cutler's relationship with the Denver Broncos deteriorated enough over the weekend that he has now formally requested a trade, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Cutler had a face-to-face meeting with Broncos coach Josh McDaniels on Saturday, and apparently that is what sent him over the edge, so to speak.
"I went in there with every intention of solving the issue, being a Bronco, moving forward as a Bronco," Cutler said. "We weren't in there but about 20 minutes, [McDaniels] did most of the talking and as far as I'm concerned, he made it clear he wants his own guy. He admitted he wanted Matt Cassel because he said he has raised him up from the ground as a quarterback. He said he wasn't sorry about it. He made it clear that he could still entertain trading me because, as he put it, he'll do whatever he feels is in the best interest of the organization.
"At the end of the meeting, he wasn't like, 'Jay, I want you as our quarterback, you're our guy.' It felt like the opposite. He basically said that I needed to tell him if we can't work this out, to let him know," Cutler added. "I thought he was antagonizing me and that was disappointing because I was ready to move on, committed as a Bronco. Really, I figured we'd hash things out, shake hands, laugh a little and move forward. What happened [Saturday] was the last thing I expected. If I didn't think it could be fixed, I never would have come back to Denver. It was painfully obvious to me and Bus [Cook, his agent] it's not something they want to fix."
Cutler is going to skip the Broncos' first team meeting with McDaniels today and the start of the offseason conditioning program (also today). Also, Cutler's parents put their house in Elizabeth, Colorado, up for sale just a day after their son did the same thing with his house two miles away. Cutler claims that it is just a big coincidence, and I tend to believe him since he has more than one place of residence in the Denver area. I do wonder about the exact timing of all this, though. To me it seems like this move was going to be made, but the timing of it was a statement of sorts to the Broncos that he really wants out. I could be reaching here, but this is just speculation on my part.
As for whether or not the Broncos will grant Cutler's request to be traded, it doesn't look like it right now. Something has to give in this disagreement between Cutler and the Broncos eventually ,but will it be a trade? The Broncos have said they aren't going to deal him, meaning they are standing their ground. I don't blame their stance one bit. Although I doubt they want someone with Cutler's attitude around, the fact of the matter is that they don't have someone capable of replacing him right now. I realize that Chris Simms is on the roster, but he is not on the same level as Jay Cutler.
Because of that, I think a trade right now is unlikely. I wouldn't be shocked if something happened on the day of the draft if this whole disagreement doesn't get better by then. Anything before that is very unlikely since the Broncos are going to have to get a QB out of this one way or another. I doubt they would want the #1 pick due to the amount of money involved, so maybe another three-team trade could be put together.
Although I do think this situation is worth monitoring, Lions fans have to start being more realistic when it comes to the chances of Cutler being traded at all, let alone to the Lions. The fact of the matter is that the Broncos can't just give away their franchise QB for nothing in return. Also, the Lions aren't the only team out there that would be interested in trading for Cutler. The Buccaneers already have proposed a trade to land him once, and I'm sure there are a few others that would love to have a QB like Cutler on their team. I would like to believe that Cutler could be in a Lions uniform next season, but it seems very unlikely to me.