Who could be in the running for Jay Cutler?
It might be easier to put together a list of teams that will definitely not be in play for the quarterback after Denver owner Pat Bowlen announced Tuesday night the Broncos are working to trade the disgruntled quarterback.
Yes, when Josh McDaniels said Cutler was his quarterback last week from the owners meetings in California, he was really saying, ``We need a little bit more.'' The Broncos removed all ambiguity from the situation and now the suitors should start to line up.
The Bears are reported to have already contacted Denver to let them know they're in. Let's explore some other teams and what their interest level could be, staring in the NFC North.
Detroit. The reason the Broncos' job was the best one available at the start of the offseason was because Denver had, at least at the time, a quarterback you could build a franchise around in Cutler. Move him to Motown and all of a sudden new coach Jim Schwartz has a passer the Lions can build around because for as long as the Bears have been trying to replace Sid Luckman, the Lions have been working to replace Bobby Layne. Remember, the Bears had Layne at one time too. They couldn't get the quarterback thing right back then either.
Minnesota. All of the decision makers might not be on the same page here as coach Brad Childress seems stuck on Tarvaris Jackson. You know, sort of the way the Bears used to be stuck on Rex Grossman. Cutler would make them the NFC favorite in many circles.
Tampa Bay. This is where Cutler was ticketed in the three-way trade that never happened. The Bucs are desperate to get a quarterback with Luke McCown slated as their starter. They were willing to trade for him once. Chances are they'll be in it again.
San Francisco. The 49ers need a quarterback in a serious way. The addition of Cutler would make the sting of that Alex Smith flop go away a little easier.
Carolina. Yes, they have had some recent contract talks with Jake Delhomme but don't rule them out. The Panthers could offer Julius Peppers but Denver might not want to trade for a player that it would have to hand a huge contract to for his services. That is what Peppers is seeking.
St. Louis. Depending on how they feel about Marc Bulger, there is a need.
Washington. Never count them out of any bold move.
On the AFC side of things:
New York Jets. The Jets were one of the first teams not in the failed three-way deal that it was announced wanted in on the action. Makes sense with new coach Rex Ryan otherwise having to choose between Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliff and Erik Ainge.
Cleveland. Sometimes the old saying is when you have two quarterbacks, you really have none. The Browns have Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson and could package one (or both?) in a deal.
Jacksonville. That David Garrard thing isn't advancing like some hoped it would.
There is a good group of teams to look at right there. The list very well could be incomplete. With the draft fast approaching and nearly three weeks away, the Broncos want to make a move so they know what they're working with in terms of selections. This might not go down right away, but the process has started for sure.
Make your package for Cutler.