Dating—Denver Broncos Style
Ok, so you meet this pretty sweet chick. Everything just kicks off perfectly—almost too good to be true. First couple dates: nothing like it. I mean they're not perfect, but you were batting .100 before then, so it's like hitting a home run. Your friends, they think your expectations are way too high: things can only go downhill from here they say. But you're only drooling at the thought of this getting better. And then it happens. You've had a few, and the next thing you know, you talking to this other chick who's been a good friend for quite a while. To you it's 99% innocent. But to Lady #1, it's over.
You're the Denver Broncos. The past three seasons have indicated that Cutler will and can only get better. Her awesome roommates or the crazy spontaneity (that you love and hate), all of which you're friends have warned you about, are the sick Bronco's offensive line that pad Cutler's stats and the cross the body-cross-the-field throws that make you question anything and everything that he was ever thinking until the second in which it lands in a receiver's arm for a 20 yard gain. You're Josh McDaniels, you haven't really done this before. She's Jay Cutler, and she expects an almost vampiric everything from you. And now she's gone.
So where does this leave you? Lost in the frontrange, wondering if you're ever going to meet another John Elway (especially after the string of Brian Griese's and Jake Plummer's). Or wondering if your friends were right, and things were far too good to be true. 20 TD tosses and 18 Interceptions in 08-09? Actually, that's not that respectable. To be honest, I mostly think that we made the right move in getting rid of Cutler: I would be shocked if he lives up to anybody's expectations next year, especially under a new head coach. I mean, even Brad Johnson could have been amazing behind our Offensive line.
So before this analogy gets even more awkward and I start equating Marissa Miller as John Elway and Kate Moss as Daunte Culpepper, what do I really think?
I think this is the right move on Bowlen's part: If Cutler isn't returning neither McDaniel's nor Bowlen's calls, then something's wrong. I think Bus Cook has played his cards right: if Cutler has a huge season next year both of them will be filthy rich (Unfortunately, I do think this story is far closer to the truth than anyone thinks: http://www.milehighreport.com/2009/3/11/794217/jay-cutler-bus-cook-and-th). I think McDaniels messed up the opening but was flawless with the rest of his game: he should have never tried to trade Cutler, but he handled the situation honestly and reasonably.
The biggest loser out of this whole scenario is Jay Cutler. He was slowly turning into a local legend, a player who could carry the Broncos right when we gave up all hope (see Cleveland game). His/Bus Cook's blatant refusal to understand that trade talks are always a part of a profession, and then his inability to forgive McDaniels mistake make him look like an immature narcissist (and that's being polite). I would be shocked if he lands in any situation nearly as good as he had it with the Broncos (see, Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, and Brandon Stokely, and I'm not evening mentioning his tight ends or O-line). He's probably going to go to a losing team, where he'll be expected to bring the team out of mediocrity. While I would love to proven wrong, Cutler is no panacea for any bad football team (he couldn't even lead the Bronco's to the playoffs—and it was not all the defense's fault, we had several winnable games). And if this is the final year of his contract, poor numbers could forever tarnish his reputation (who knows, maybe we'll think all three of the top QBs of the 2006 draft class as busts). Karma's going to byte Cutler far harder than it will hurt McDaniels. Even with all this career collapsing talk, I seriously do wish Cutler the best of luck, wherever he goes.
And so it begins again. Sooner or later you're going to meet another chick, I mean that's just the way things go. Just don't fall for Paris Hilton/Brady Quinn...