Broncos, Cutler to meet next week

Updated: March 4, 2009, 2:42 PM ET
By Bill Williamson | ESPN.com

In a point-blank attempt to end a three-day publicity fiasco, the Denver Broncos are putting a halt to the idea that they are still entertaining thoughts of trading Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler.

"The Denver Broncos are not trading Jay Cutler -- period," Denver spokesman Patrick Smyth said.

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Smyth said Cutler, 25, will meet with the team's brass, including new coach Josh McDaniels, next week to communicate in an attempt to repair the relationship that was fractured Saturday when news broke that the Broncos were discussing trading for New England quarterback Matt Cassel and then trading Cutler to Tampa Bay. Other teams also discussed Cutler with Denver.

McDaniels was interested in reuniting with Cassel. McDaniels was the offensive coordinator in New England and Cassel was a surprise standout as Tom Brady's injury replacement. Cassel was traded to Kansas City on Saturday as the Denver talks were taking place.

Cutler was upset about the trade talks and completely blindsided by the notion. Smyth said Tuesday that Cutler is aware that the team is releasing the statement about its stance of not trading him and the fact that he will be meeting with the team next week. Cutler is in Nashville. He was going to return to Denver this week to study the playbook with McDaniels before the bombshell news broke.

Cutler told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Sunday night that the team wanted to meet with him this week in Denver but he declined. He indicated that he needed more time and that he was upset that Denver was denying that it discussed trading him, saying only that it was approached by other teams. Cutler told Mortensen he was certain the Broncos were trying to trade him.

Sources close to Cutler have said that he lost trust in his new coach after that and he initially wanted to leave because of it. Now, it appears, Cutler wants to be leveled with and is willing to listen to Denver's reasoning for the trade talks.

One of the reasons why Denver lost interest in trading Cutler is that Cassel is no longer on the market and it wouldn't have a replacement for Cutler if he were dealt. Several teams would have likely expressed interest in Cutler in the coming weeks had he been on the market. Tuesday's statement is Denver's attempt to show it is not interested in pursuing talks.

Bill Williamson covers the AFC West for ESPN.com.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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