Jay Cutler is kickin' mad at the Denver Broncos.
He's been showing up for work dutifully the past few weeks, getting to know the new coaching staff and all the time, at least in Cutler's mind, they've been plotting a way to get rid of him.
It didn't happen. A proposed three-way deal that would have sent Cutler to Tampa Bay, a first-round pick to New England and Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel to the Broncos didn't materialize. Not after the Patriots dealt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs for a second-round pick, the 34th pick in the draft. Bill Belichick's longtime associate Scott Pioli lands two players he coveted.
If the three-way deal was real, we imagine the the Patriots would have taken a first over a second. Don't you? Whether or not the more complicated deal got started too late, who knows? The fact is New England didn't find quite the trade market for Cassel it expected, or at least it hoped for, proof that there are many league insiders out there who feel the first-time starter was a "system player'' who was surrounded by top talent on the field and off with a terrific coaching staff.
Maybe new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, who came from New England, wanted to work with Cassel instead of Cutler. Maybe Belichick and the Patriots used a supposed trade possibility to leverage the Chiefs. Know this: Belichick and McDaniels didn't have a Belichick-Eric Mangini fallout. He's not driven to drive his former assistant into the ground, at least not in this setting.
But Cutler tells Mike Klis of the Denver Post that he's miffed. Maybe he's the one who wants out now. Bill Williamson of ESPN.com listed Tampa Bay, Detroit and Chicago as possible landing spots for Cutler. At this point, the Broncos are telling anyone who will listen that Cutler is not available. The team has reportedly schedule a sit down with him in what will likely be the first move by McDaniels to try to mend the relationship.
Here's our top five reasons why there is no way Cutler will come to the Bears:
1. The Broncos were going to trade Cutler to get a quarterback they wanted--Cassel. The Bears don't have a quarterback Denver is known to covet. Caleb Hanie may have been popular down the road at Colorado State. Not that popular. Denver gains nothing in moving Cutler and not getting a top passer in return. The only other quarterback on the Broncos' roster right now is Darrell Hackney.
2. The Bears have fallen over themselves declaring their confidence in Kyle Orton ever since general manager Jerry Angelo's end-of-season press conference. They intend to show how much they believe in Orton as he's the unquestioned No. 1 going into 2009.
3. You really think Angelo is going to cook up a blockbuster deal like this? He likes trading draft picks about as much as he likes trading up in the draft.
4. Trading Cutler now would just about seal McDaniels' fate in the Mile High City.
5. When in doubt, see No. 1. If you're still holding out hope, then see No. 2. Repeat as needed.
The fact is the Bears will come up whenever there is discussion about a name quarterback being available. Kurt Warner? Sure, we've heard it. Cassel? Yep. The Bears get linked to quarterbacks of all ability levels who are entering the draft, free agency or the trade market because their quarterback situation is unsettled and has been for ages. That's the way it's going to be until something changes. The fact of the matter is, Denver isn't going to shop Cutler now. Period. You can't buy what's not for sale, and again, the Bears would have no quarterback to offer in return.
*** If keeping veteran wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh in Minnesota for a second night can be viewed as a victory, then score one for the Vikings. They're putting an all out press on the No. 1 free-agent wideout to get a deal done. Houshmandzadeh would probably become their No. 1 receiver over ex-Bear Bernard Berrian and that's a nice combination to work with running back Adrian Peterson. Cincinnati and Seattle are also believed to be in the mix. Sounds like a decision could come Monday.
*** The gang over at Yahoo Sports has put together a list of the top 100 free agents that was updated last night with signings. Warner, Ray Lewis, Houshmandzadeh, Jermaine Phillips are a few of the top remaining unsigned players on the list.
*** No updates from the camps of John St. Clair and Kevin Jones. The Bears have offers outstanding to St. Clair, one they made Feb. 13, and Jones. They may need to get firm offers in hand before going back to the Bears to see if they'll match or sweeten the deal. Stay tuned.