Broncos say Cutler won’t be traded
DENVER, Colorado ” The Denver Broncos don’t want to talk to anyone about Jay Cutler except for the quarterback himself.
The Broncos insisted Tuesday their Pro Bowl quarterback isn’t on the trading block and said new coach Josh McDaniels and his star player are scheduled to meet next week to try to patch up their strained relationship.
Cutler was angered during the weekend when his name came up in talks involving a three-way trade that would have sent him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and landed Matt Cassel in Denver. Instead, the Patriots traded Cassel to Kansas City.
McDaniels was the offensive coordinator last year in New England, where he tutored Cassel, a career backup who led the Patriots to an 11-5 season after Tom Brady was injured in the opener.
Cutler, who is preparing to learn the intricate Patriots-style offense after working in the West Coast system his first three years in the NFL, was miffed that McDaniels even entertained the notion of dealing him to another team. He also said he thought he was still going to get traded.
“The Denver Broncos are not trading Jay Cutler. Period,” team spokesman Patrick Smyth said emphatically Tuesday.
Smyth said neither Cutler nor McDaniels would be made available to discuss the situation until after they meet to resolve their rift following Cutler’s return from Nashville, Tenn., where he maintains an offseason home.
A message left with Cutler’s agent, Bus Cook, wasn’t returned Tuesday. Earlier, he told The Associated Press that he doesn’t think his client has ever asked the Broncos for a trade and he insisted Cutler was right to be upset because the Broncos even listening to offers was “a vote of no-confidence in him.”
Cutler, who has three years left on the six-year deal he signed as a rookie, set numerous club records last season, including yards passing in a season (4,526), completions (384) and 300-yard games (eight).
However, Cutler and the Broncos squandered a three-game lead in the AFC West with three weeks to go, missing out on the playoffs for a third straight season and costing Mike Shanahan his job after 14 seasons in Denver.
Cutler is 17-20 with no playoff appearances since replacing Jake Plummer late in the 2006 season.
McDaniels, 32, was hired in January, and the Broncos promoted Brian Xanders, 37, to general manager last month. Both of them report directly to owner Pat Bowlen, who hasn’t publicly addressed the rift between his new coach and his temperamental quarterback.
The Broncos are also dealing with another major headache following Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall’s fourth arrest in three years. Marshall was arrested Sunday after getting into a fight with his new fiance.
The disorderly conduct charge was quickly dropped in at Atlanta court when he and his fiance refused to testify against each other, but Marshall still faces discipline from the NFL for repeated violations of the league’s personal conduct code.
Cutler and Marshall, fellow members of the Broncos’ dazzling 2006 draft class, are the faces of the franchise and the two biggest talents McDaniels inherited.