Just as I was going to add a post to the site detailing the possible teams interested in Jay Cutler, the unthinkable happened; Jay Cutler was dealt to Chicago. So much for that idea! NFL sources said that the trade would take around 10 days not 10 hours! While I was telling myself I was OK with the idea of dealing Jay Cutler earlier this week, I felt sick to my stomach today when the news was released that Cutler would be joining the Chicago Bears. While getting Kyle Orton from the Bears in return may not excite the loyal Bronco’s fan with his rubber band arm or his Jake Plummer like beard, I have to admit that the team who comes out on top from this deal is still to be determined. Especially when numerous draft picks are involved.
The Broncos got rid of a huge distraction from their locker room that would have possibly hindered the team next year. Owner Pat Bowlen has said that he was going to take control back of his team and he has done so sending the message that no one is above the team. Plain and simple. Your quarterback must show up to team activities and he must have thick skin to take criticism and understand the business end of professional sports. Furthermore he must be willing to communicate in person (texting doesn’t count) and work out disagreements with coaches, players, or team executives. That is the requirements of a team leader. The requirements of a franchise player.
What is a franchise player? How can we say for certain that Cutler was the franchise? He played three years and had a lot of talented teammates helping him on offense. The Broncos have seen productive former players become mediocre when traded to other teams. The system that produced great running backs under Shannahan should produce great quarterbacks under McDaniels. Anyone remember Matt Cassel before this year? Maybe McDaniels has the same mentality that Shannahan did…plug and play.
It is just too soon to see if Cutler is a franchise player and it is too soon to see if McDaniels can put a winning team together. The media has tugged at our emotions for a month without a single game played. Let the pieces fall and the dust settle before we make final judgement. The Broncos have been a successful organization under Pat Bowlen and his track record deserves our patience and support. Whether the team wins or loses, the loyalty of its fans should never wane. Denver fans our known for their deep love of the Broncos. While the latest news cuts like a knife, let them see us bleed orange and blue.