It is over. Finally! What a riduculously painful saga that Denver Broncos fan, the citizens of Colorado, and pretty much any sports fan in America had to endure. A new, inexperienced head coach, a new, average general manager, and what I would consider a fairly decent owner vs. a whiny, egotastic, prima donna, and now former Denver Broncos quarterback. There were plenty of opinions, speculation, chances to blame either side, and miscommunication (or was it missed communication). After all of it, I am not sure who to blame for this whole mess. That is what it is, a HUGE mess.
At the beginning the inexperienced head coach and front office made what was possibly the first poor choice. They shopped the Denver Broncos starting quarterback, whom the new head coach must not have had much faith in, for Matt Cassel, who the new head coach worked with extensively last season. I am not sure where the lack of faith came with Jay Cutler, but in the end maybe Josh McDaniels was onto something. Anyway, the trade didn't work out and it became public. How little did they know, or did they, that Jay Cutler's pysche was so fragile? He is upset about the trade talks.
Then there was the longest case of he said, he said there has every been in Denver Broncos history. All kinds of words went flying. The front office says they were exploring the possiblity of a trade. Jay Cutler says his feelings are hurt (awww, poor baby!), and that the coach lied to him. From the hundreds of media reports, it's really hard to say who was telling the truth, or lying.
Then there was the lack of communciation part one. Lots of made and missed telephone calls, allegedly, trying to get some dialog started. Again more media reports. Who called whom, who did or didn't answer their phone, text messages, voice mails etc., etc. At this point it's still really hard to say who was telling the truth, or lying.
Next breaking news piece. The two sides have spoken. The team says things went well and everything was worked out, Cutler says the team doesn't want to work things out (or something like that). More media reports. More phone calls and text messages trying to get Cutler to come to Denver to talk about it. Still trying to figure out who is telling the truth, or lying.
Jay Cutler decides to come to Denver and talk. Things did not go well (shocker). The coach and the player are unable to get along and the player wants to be traded. Or so the player's agent says. More media reports. Then more lack of communication for a while.
The Broncos go to the NFL meetings and it is said more than once that the Broncos do not want to trade Cutler, he is their man. More media reports, the speculation starts to die down some. Finally! Or so I thought. Was it damage control, or were the Broncos truly hopeful to repair the relationship.
Days and days go by and the Broncos insist that they have been trying to make contact with Cutler with no response. Pat Bowlen finally get tired of the situation and agrees to grant Cutler's wish (alledgedly) to be traded. Lots and lots of media reports. The phones go flying off the hook at Dove Valley. More media reports.
Out of nowhere, at a UFC match even, Jay Cutler rises from obscurity. He says he never intended for this to go so far and that he never wanted to be traded. More media reports, while the phone calls between the Broncos and several NFL teams continue. The end is near...
Today, the Broncos announce they have traded Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears for two #1 Draft picks, a #3 draft pick and Kyle Orton. The saga as we have known it appears to be over. Except for the media reports and the thousands of people whose comments have been flying since the beginning.
Conclusions- In the beginning I believe there were discussions between the Broncos and a number of teams about the possibility of a trade involving Jay Cutler. How serious they were we may never know. I believe that Jay Cutler overreacted and acted with incredible immaturity. I believe that the Broncos made every effort they could to try and explain their position to Cutler. I also believe that Jay Cutler was so imbedded in his shock, disbelief and own ego that he couldn't focus on anything but himself. I do think that Jay Cutler truly believes he was lied to. I have no way of knowing that this was the case. Too many conflicting media reports. I am not sure if Cutler really wanted to be traded or if it was his agents way of trying to solve this for him. I do believe that the Broncos wanted to keep Cutler and work things out. I do believe they tried to contact him for the last 10 days. I have conflicting feelings about Cutler really wanting to stay and saying he never meant for this to go this far. In the end, I don't think he really wanted to go. I also don't think he was truthful himself when he said the Broncos never tried to contact him and that he didn't really want to be traded. If this were the case, why didn't he pick up his phone, or better yet go back to Denver and work it out. I can't believe that he didn't see any of the reports that said his agent told the Broncos he wanted a trade. I can't believe that if he wanted to work things out that he would wait for a statement from the Broncos saying he would be traded to finally comment on the situation and claim that he really didn't want to be traded. What exactly did he want from this lack of communication. In the end, the Broncos, the Bears, and Jay Cutler all probably got what they wanted. The Broncos got rid of an irresponsible, whiny, egotastic, quarterback and got a crapload of picks in exchange. The Bears got the franchise quarterback they have needed for years, along with all of his baggage. Jay Cutler, whether he wanted the trade or not, got it. And ironically or not to the team he grew up cheering for.
How this all plays out in the end remains to be seen. Will the Bears be a better team? Probably. They have a better quarterback, but do they have a better leader? And do they have the answers to all of the other issues they have needed to address this off season? Will the Broncos be a better team? Hard to say at this point. They have a new coach, a new quarterback, several new running backs and have cut half of last years awful defense. At worst, it's a rebuilding year. At best they are probably still an 8-8 team. What will become Jay Cutler? The Bears will need to shore up the O-line. Getting Orlando Pace is a step in that direction. Cutler doesn't have the weapons he had in Denver, so we will see how good a quarterback he really is. With the Bears solid defense, one excuse goes away. It will be up to Cutler to show that he truly is the great quarterback he thinks he is and many Denver fans say he is. Only time will tell.