Jay Cutler Is a Heart Breaker

Jay Cutler interceptionEver since seeing Jay Cutler preside over Denver’s implosion down the stretch last year, it was easy to conclude that Cutler’s a heart breaker in the mold of Brett Favre. While Cutler has immense talent and the ability to lead a team up and down the field, he no doubt has a propensity for turning the ball over. Anyone who watched Thursday night’s game against the 49ers, much less Sunday night’s season opener against the Packers, is aware of Cutler’s interception issues. In fact, Cutler has made Jake Delhomme look good by replacing him as the league’s interception leader. While a few of Cutler’s picks Thursday night could be blamed on someone else (Devin Hester for breaking off his route, the official for impeding his receiver’s pathway), there’s no doubt that Cutler is hurting his team with his errant throws.

Jay Cutler made the Pro Bowl last year and is beloved by fantasy owners and stat geeks because he racks up yardage totals, but I’m guessing most coaches will gladly replace a few hundred yards passing with less interceptions. It’s probably also the reason Josh McDaniels wanted to bring Matt Cassel to Denver over Jay Cutler — he likely saw issues with Jay and his whole gunslinger mentality. I’d even go so far as to say that the filter Cutler seems to lack when he makes appalling comments is the same filter that would prevent most quarterbacks from throwing into traffic the way he does. I wonder what the Chicago Sun-Times is saying now considering they determined Jay Cutler was worth $100 million after looking good in one preseason game! Real smart, guys.

One Pre-Season Game and Jay Cutler’s Already a $100 Million Quarterback

jay-cutler-bearsSo Jay Cutler goes 5/10 for 64 yards and an interception in the Bears first pre-season game against the Bills and Bears fans aren’t thrilled. The next week he goes 8/13 for 121 yards with a touchdown pass and a 12-yard scramble and all of a sudden the city goes gaga. Apparently all it takes is three successful drives during the pre-season for the media to decide Cutler’s worth $100 million. No joke.

Manning is one of the highest-paid players in the game, but if you were to choose between him and Cutler in the Bears’ 17-3 victory Saturday, the decision would have been a no-brainer.

The Bears are going to have to give Cutler a $100 million deal at some point within the next two years, and he looked Saturday as though he’ll be worth every dollar. Of course, the Bears like to tell people not to overreact to preseason results, so maybe they will dismiss his success against the Giants as they did his slow start in the preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills.

Look, I understand why Bears fans and even the media are pretty excited to have this guy in town. 10 years with the likes of Moses Moreno, Shane Matthews, Kordell Stewart, and Rex Grossman will make you desperate for a real quarterback and appreciate one when you have it. But … let’s not get so giddy that we’re jumping to conclusions. First off, I don’t think you would find many people who agree that Eli was worth $100 million. Second of all … this was one half of one pre-season game against a team that didn’t have half of its defensive starters playing! Get hyped, get happy, get excited for the Bears’ prospects this season. But to take three drives in a pre-season game and conclude the guy is a $100 million quarterback is asinine. Then again, these same people will be calling for a benching as soon as he throws his usual two picks in the fourth quarter of an important game.

Jay Cutler Trade Was Win-Win for Broncos and Bears

My favorite kind of trade in sports is the win-win deal. I love trades in general because they make things exciting, and the more teams get ripped off, the less inclined they are to deal. One of the best for instance, was the Red Sox/Marlins Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell for Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez trade. Boston got a World Series, Florida got potentially the best position player in the game. Win-win. I think the Jay Cutler to the Bears deal could be one of those win-win deals. The Broncos got the problem that is the whining baby of Jay Cutler off their hands. In return, they got back Kyle Orton who can be a serviceable starter for two years until they find someone they think will be the long-term solution. To try and find that long-term answer, they’ll have four first-round picks over the next two drafts, plus an extra third rounder this year. Think about all the damage the Broncos can do with that. With two first-round picks in this year’s draft alone, they can shore up their crappy defense with a top-notch lineman and maybe another cover guy.

While the Bears are giving up a lot, enough to allow the Broncos to conceivably rebuild nicely, they are getting a valuable commodity — a franchise quarterback. Jay Cutler’s talent is undeniable — the guy has a cannon arm. I don’t think he has the goods mentally to be a consistent winner and he threw too many questionable picks for my taste last year, but at least he has proven he can play at this level. The Bears are finally getting a quarterback they can be excited about, one they know can throw for 300-yards in a game. It’s about time Chicago had a passing threat under center. I’m not saying that Cutler’s the greatest, I’m just saying he’s enough to get the city psyched up, much more so than Orton or Sex Grossman ever could.

While I do call the trade win-win, I could very easily see it being lose-lose. The Broncos could easily strike out with their four first-rounders over the next two years (only a GM like A.J. Smith would hit a grand slam). Cutler for all we know could have a mental meltdown, continue throwing interceptions, and demand to be traded after a year or two. That all remains to be seen. But for now, I think both teams came out ahead in the trade.

A few extra points on the trade: how bad does Jerry Jones now look for giving up a first, third, and fifth-round pick just for Roy Williams when almost the same package netted Cutler? Will Jason Campbell react to his name being thrown around in trade rumors the way Cutler did? (No, he’s not that immature). And lastly, it bothers me that everyone keeps referring to Cutler as a Pro Bowl quarterback. Cutler was only there because the team starting off 3-0 with him setting the world on fire. Philip Rivers was the guy who should have been voted in to begin with, no doubt about it.

Jay Cutler and Josh McDaniels Starting Off on the Wrong Foot

This probably was not the way Josh McDaniels wanted to kick off his era as head coach of the Denver Broncos. Apparently trade winds blew their way to quarterback Jay Cutler, who found out that the Broncos were fielding phone calls and entertaining the thought of dealing him in a three-way trade. Those rumored trades never happened and Matt Cassel got dealt to Kansas City along with Mike Vrabel. Considering Cutler never got traded, the Broncos would have been best served to keep the word of trade talks to themselves. Somehow word slipped out however and Jay Cutler is not happy about it:

“My understanding at this point is they’re trying to trade me. We’ll see where I end up at. I liked it here, I liked playing with these guys but obviously they’re not going to let me have that opportunity.”

“I’m upset. I mean I’m really shocked at this point,” he said. “I could see why they want Cassel. I don’t know if they think I can’t run the system or I don’t have the skills for it. I just don’t get it. Or if they don’t think they can sign me with my next contract. I just don’t know what it is. I’ve heard I’m still on the trading block.”

Funny how Cutler used the past tense, making it seem like he’s already gone. Now that the team didn’t get Cassel, there’s no question in my mind that he’ll be back as the team’s quarterback, so he’ll have to change his attitude. McDaniels may have tried to downplay the incident by saying that Tampa Bay initiated talks and that they field calls about all the players at this time, but he certainly has his work cut out for him. I’m not sure he needs to buy Cutler a $4 million diamond ring to kiss and make up, but he’s going to have to make Cutler feel pretty. As for Cutler, I could see why he’d be upset and I bet I’d be angry too, but he needs to move on. He already had his coach get fired and he needs to get used to the lack of loyalty in this league.

Chargers Screwed by Ed Hochuli’s Whistle on Jay Cutler Non-Fumble Call

It was 2nd down, final two minutes of the game, Broncos looking to tie it up. In a play that seemed all too familiar to anyone who had seen the infamous Brady tuck rule play against the Raiders, Jay Cutler rolled right, let the ball escape his hand, and seemed to have fumbled the game away to the Chargers. Only problem, Ed Hochuli inadvertently blew his whistle as soon as the ball hit the ground, meaning only the fumble/interception could be overturned. By blowing his whistle too early on, Hochuli prevented the Chargers from taking over possession of the football. Hochuli knows he screwed up, and the Broncos know they caught a lucky break:

“I blew it,” is how Hochuli explained it to Turner on the sideline.

“That is not acceptable,” Turner said. “This is the NFL. Our guys fought hard to come back. It was just disappointing to have that kind of performance spoiled by that call.”

“I think it was a fumble,” Cutler said afterward, and he was one of many Broncos to say so.

That’s a terrible break for the Chargers, but there’s no way to be certain that they would have recovered the fumble had the whistle not blown. Additionally, the Chargers still could have stopped the Broncos on the 4th down play or the two point conversion to get the win. They didn’t do either. Sure, I’m disappointed since the Chargers were one of Doc Brown’s picks, but reality is that San Diego had this game won. Check out video of the final minute around the 2:20 mark to see the blown call:

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