Commentary

Cutler's act is wearing thin -- quickly

Updated: March 4, 2009, 1:05 PM ET
By Gene Wojciechowski | ESPN.com

Will someone please give Jay Cutler his pacifier, hand him his favorite blankie and put him back in his crib for his afternoon nap? Because if he cries anymore about a trade that didn't happen, we'll have to check his Pampers.

Cutler is the quarterback of the Denver Broncos. At least for now he is.

Turns out the Broncos are/were shopping him. The three-way trade between the Broncos, New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't reach critical mass, but names (Cutler to the Bucs, Matt Cassel to the Broncos) and numbers (first- and fourth-round draft picks to the Patriots) were discussed.

Cutler
Cutler

But it didn't happen. Repeat: didn't happen.

Instead, the Patriots traded Cassel and his franchise-tag salary to the Kansas City Chiefs. And Cutler is still a Bronco.

But the mere thought of a possible trade upset Cutler so much that he went into full waaaa-waaaa-waaaa mode, wailing like an infant. Why are they being so mean to me? That sort of thing.

"I'm upset," he told The Denver Post. "I mean, I'm really shocked at this point."

And this from Cutler's agent, James "Bus" Cook, who told The Associated Press, "Nobody's going to call the [New York] Giants and ask for Eli [Manning]. Nobody's calling the [Indianapolis] Colts asking about Peyton [Manning]. [Tom] Brady? Come on. So, why call Denver and ask about Jay? And if they do call, why not say, 'That's not for discussion. What else do you want?'"

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Why call Denver and ask about Cutler? Because the Broncos haven't reached the playoffs since the 2005 season. Because Cutler's record as a starter is 17-20. Because new Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels just happened to coach Cassel last season. And Cassel's team finished 11-5, including a 41-7 victory against Cutler's Broncos in October.

Nobody is calling the Giants and the Colts about the Manning brothers because the Manning brothers actually reach the postseason and have won Super Bowls. And here's guessing somebody called the Patriots asking whether Brady might be available.

Cook, more than anyone, should know that anything is possible in the NFL. Just ask Brett Favre, one of Cook's longtime clients.

Don't get me wrong -- Cutler is a talent, possibly a major talent. His numbers keep tracking upward (4,526 passing yards, 25 touchdowns in '08), but so do his turnovers (18 interceptions, including four in Denver's last three games -- all losses) and hissy fits.

None of this Cutler trade talk likely would have happened if Mike Shanahan were still the Broncos' head coach. Shanahan is the guy who drafted Cutler with the 11th pick of the 2006 draft. They were attached at the hip pads.

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But Shanahan is Broncos history. It happens. Last week it happened to 11-time Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks of the Bucs. He was cut after 14 years.

Brooks didn't pout like Cutler. And his agent didn't issue any angry criticisms of the Bucs' decision. Instead, Brooks articulated the essential truth of the NFL: It's business, not personal.

"Everybody has a picture that they want painted their own particular way, but when the picture's not painted your way, you don't kick and scream," Brooks told reporters. "You be a man about it."

Cutler is kicking and screaming. Poor baby. He stiffed the Broncos when they requested a kiss-and-make-up session. Word is he won't even talk to McDaniels on the phone.

So what if the Broncos considered proposals from the Bucs? Who cares whether they listened to an offer from the Detroit Lions? When you haven't reached the playoffs since '05, when you gag away a three-game division lead with three games left, you listen to everybody about anybody.

Come to think about it, what's so bad about the Bucs? New coach -- Raheem Morris. New tight end -- Kellen Winslow. Newly re-upped wide receivers -- Antonio Bryant (franchise-tagged) and Michael Clayton. And did we mention that Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall was arrested again?

"If they were in fact trying to trade Jay Cutler, then I think that's a situation that's going to cause a very serious problem for the organization," Cook huffed and puffed.

Why? Because Cutler's precious feelings were hurt? Please.

The nontrade causes serious problems only if Cutler wants it that way. To whine about the Broncos' kicking the tires on a trade accomplishes nothing. Especially from a guy with zero playoff appearances and a grand total of 37 NFL games.

Cutler has accomplished nothing in this league. He has pretty passing numbers, but so what? It's time for him to do a Brooks and grow up. It's time for him to spit out the pacifier.

Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn3.com.

Gene Wojciechowski | email

Columnist / College Football reporter

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