Broncos coach: Desire to mend fences wasn’t mutual |

Broncos coach: Desire to mend fences wasn’t mutual

** FILE ** At left, in a Jan. 12, 2009 file photo, Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels listens during a news conference in Englewood, Colo. At right, in an Oct. 5, 2008 file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during an NFL football game in Denver. The rocky relationship that sprung out of new Denver Broncos boss Josh McDaniels' efforts to trade Pro Bowler Jay Cutler might actually foster growth in both men's careers, providing this spat doesn't end in an ugly divorce first. (AP Photo/File)
AP |

DENVER, Colorado ” Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels insisted he wanted things to work out with quarterback Jay Cutler. The feeling wasn’t mutual.

In his first news conference in Denver since the rift developed more than a month ago, McDaniels said it became clear the Broncos had no choice but to grant Cutler his trade request.

The Broncos sent the Pro Bowl passer and a fifth-round pick in the upcoming draft to the Chicago Bears on Thursday for two first-round picks, a third-rounder and quarterback Kyle Orton.

McDaniels said Orton will compete with Chris Simms for the starting job in Denver. He also didn’t rule out taking a quarterback in the draft.

The relationship between McDaniels and Cutler began to crumble when the 32-year-old rookie coach talked to other teams about trading the rocket-armed quarterback who turns 26 later this month. Cutler and his agent, Bus Cook, didn’t think McDaniels was up front with them about the discussions and the distrust reached a level where he requested a trade.

McDaniels balked at first, saying he wanted to repair the relationship. But Cutler never returned his calls, and McDaniels realized the two sides weren’t working toward the same goal.

“We got to a point where it was made very clear to us that we were not going to be able to get to a resolution where Jay Cutler could be on our football team,” McDaniels said.

However, McDaniels said he doesn’t have any regrets.

“It could have worked out,” he insisted. “As I mentioned a week ago, it was going to require a two-way commitment.”

The drama with Cutler began to unfold when Denver flirted with trying to acquire Matt Cassel, McDaniels’ star pupil in New England. Cassel was traded to Kansas City instead, but feathers were already ruffled.

“I don’t know where the blame lies, or if there is blame,” McDaniels said. “Obviously, it was a situation where communication became an issue. At that point, it started to get progressively worse. But, I understand the player’s mind-set. I understand that he wasn’t happy with what had happened or transpired.”

Support Local Journalism