On football: Broncos, Cutler going through an ugly divorce | VailDaily.com

On football: Broncos, Cutler going through an ugly divorce

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado

Somewhere, Mike Shanahan is smiling.

In the three months since Denver owner Pat Bowlen axed him, the Broncos went from a team who was a few defensive tweaks from being a playoff contender to one in shambles.

Franchise quarterback Jay Cutler is essentially gone. Denver announced Tuesday it would accommodate Cutler’s trade request and try to deal him for a package of goods.

Blame Cutler. Blame new coach Josh McDaniels. Blame Bowlen.

The situation stinks from all sides.

The Broncos are giving up on one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league. Why? Because of immaturity, stubbornness and enough bonehead mistakes to make the Three Stooges look smart.

Now, it’s Broncos fans who will suffer the most. Ladies and gentleman, right now the No. 1 QB on the depth chart is Chris Simms.

Wake up, Jay

If someone deserves the Lion’s share (pun intended, Jay) of the blame, it’s Cutler. He’s a baby, plain and simple.

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising. The same pout he constantly displays on the field is clearly the way he handles his business, too. For 10 days, Broncos brass tried to reach Cutler by phone, and for 10 days they got no return call, no text, no nothing.

Cutler is getting paid millions of dollars to play QB for the Denver Broncos and that’s not good enough. He apparently wants to be coddled and told how good he is at every moment.

Yes, Cutler is a helluva talent. In the last two seasons, he’s passed for more than 8,000 yards and made the Pro Bowl. All that and he’s only 25-years-old.

Now for the harsh reality. In those two seasons the Broncos didn’t make the playoffs. When Cutler started, Denver was 17-20. Yes, some of that is the defense’s fault, but compare Cutler’s record to John Elway’s 27-13 mark in his first three years under center. I don’t remember any superstars on those Denver defenses.

Like I said, I think Cutler is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league. Guess what? So was Jeff George. Remember him?

My hope is that Cutler gets traded to Detroit where he can display that rocket arm in all those blowout losses.

C’mon, Coach

I have to applaud McDaniels for something, the dude knows how to make an entrance. For better or worse, his legacy will always be running off the franchise quarterback before calling his first play in Denver.

Yay, coach!

If Bowlen fired Shanahan because the future Hall-of-Fame coach had lost his edge, he should have a talk with McDaniels because he has lost his mind.

Trade Cutler? Are you kidding me? The thought should have never crossed his mind a month ago.

Who can the Broncos trade for or draft who can replace him? That’s easy, nobody.

As a Broncos fan, I really hope McDaniels succeeds. It won’t be fun watching Denver lose. If and when that happens, though, McDaniels should be ready for Denver diehards to be at his throat.

Bad move, Pat

The first, and maybe biggest, mistake in this mess was firing Mike Shanahan. Yes, he should take the blame for Denver’s failing the last few seasons, but not with his job.

Only twice in his 14-year tenure did the Broncos finish with a losing record. Almost every team in the NFL could live with that track record. Oh yeah, he also won two Super Bowls with Elway, Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe and company.

Now, the Broncos are stuck with a coach who’s content showing his best players the door.

Believe it or not, Bowlen’s been through this before. In 1992, Bowlen picked Elway instead of then-head coach Dan Reeves. That worked out pretty well.

See, it’s much easier to find a coach than a franchise quarterback. Unfortunately, I think Bowlen will learn that the hard way this time around.

Sports Writer Ian Smith can be reached at 970-748-2935 or ismith@vaildaily.com.

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