Source: Secrets Inside Cutler Trade Talks - KDVR FOX 31 Blog post
Source: Secrets Inside Cutler Trade Talks
Several weeks ago, I called one of my NFL sources for information regarding the free agent market. I received what I expected, and something I didn't: a heads up about a "possible three-way trade in the near future."
I figured my source was talking about a deal outside of Denver; because clearly if they were holding a secret about a grain of salt in the Rocky Mountains my source would have spilled the beans even about that right then and there right?
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that vague tip weeks ago was about Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler, head coach Josh McDaniels, and the "Real World" episode airing about them daily on a television set now near you.
Unfortunately, the dots were finally connected for me in our conversation just (yes just) yesterday afternoon.
"Sorry, I'm so sorry Josina. I couldn't tell you at the time. [The secret trade talks] were too high up then. But, when I knew it was about to get out I tried to call you. Unfortunately I didn't have the phone with your number in it right then and there," my source explained pitifully.
Clearly my source forgot about this radical invention called 411. You dial it on the phone nearest to you, and ask the operator to connect you to KDVR FOX 31 in Denver.
After I finished yanking their chain for a good ten minutes over the phone, my source relented and revealed some rather interesting details about the now infamous Cutler trade that didn't materialize, and, their primary insight about Denver's A-list key players.
The first thing the source wanted to emphasize without hesitation was the fact that McDaniels definitely had his hand in the cookie jar.
Even though McDaniels characterized the Cutler trade talks as just “conversations,” in a recent interview with the NFL Network, and said that, “there wasn’t anything that we were trying to push hard to get through,” my source begged to differ in unbridled amusement.
"[Denver] was definitely negotiating. They were trying to get a trade in place and there is no doubt about that," said the league source.
“From Minnesota to Detroit to Tampa, although they got in the game late, Denver was trying to get something in place.”
As for why McDaniels was so hard pressed to roll Cutler out on the next Rocky Mountain train to “Anywhere but Here-land” my source (with primary knowledge of these conversations) said there were consistent themes in the coach’s concerns about Cutler.
The source expanded their perspective of McDaniels’ concerns of Cutler learning and working in the Broncos’ new offensive scheme.
“This is a very complex situation. You have to be so smart to play his [McDaniels’] offense. [Tom] Brady and [Matt] Cassel are exceedingly smart quarterbacks. They are not the best athletes in the world but they both make really intelligent decisions. Cutler has a canon for an arm, but he doesn’t manage the game like those guys in critical situations. Brady and Cassel are workaholics. They have the stature, and they have the ability,” said the source.
Well everyone can argue about who they feel is the better quarterback between Cutler and Cassel now.
But at the end of the day, when it comes to the root of all of this drama in Denver, the source told FOX31 to point at New England and Kansas City.
“[Bill] Belichick had first round offers and then some for Cassel. Believe me, a lot of people knew that was on the table. But look at what Matt ended up going to Kansas City for nothing. (Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel went to the Chiefs in exchange for a 2009 second round draft pick.) Trust me Bill wanted to pull the trigger on this one sooner rather than later. Then [Scott] Pioli [the Chiefs new General Manager and former Patriots personnel executive] was scared -less that he wasn’t going to end up with Cassel for a moment there because before he left [New England] Scott was  sure he was going to get Matt-that’s why I feel he took the job in Kansas City. I am convinced it was [Belichick’s and Pioli’s master plan for [Pioli] to get Cassel all along when you watch how this played out.”
As for why Belichick ended up giving the Chiefs and Pioli such a sweetheart deal, the source opined some more.
“At the time all of this was going down, there’s was a part of me that felt like Belichick really wanted to take credit for Cassel. You see, I think if Matt goes to Kansas City, there is a chance he won’t be as good in the Chiefs’ system. Obviously if Cassel ended up in Denver, McDaniels can take more ownership of Matt’s success.”
But the league source told FOX31 sports that in his opinion Belichick took a lesser deal for Cassel in part to disassociate McDaniels’ work in Cassel’s accomplishments.
“I think Bill wants people to know that Brady and Cassel are successes because of his system. You see every other coach that left the Patriots has basically fallen flat on their face.”
As for who McDaniels will scout to replace Cutler if the Pro Bowl quarterback leaves?
“It will definitely have to be somebody who is smart enough to understand the intricacies of his system.”
And if Cutler is smart enough, he’ll make sure he convinces McDaniels he’s the guy not just physically but mentally as well.
“McDaniels has all the leverage he needs because Cutler is under contract, period. If Cutler tries to force his way out of there, plays for another team and performs poorly after all of this drama, his value will tank tremendously. Hopefully he decides to go back, but right now he is looking like an .”