This is going to be a quick one before shutting down WordPress for the evening (it needs a break…it’s been a busy day!). I just caught word of a rumor on a Broncos blog that there could be a deal in the works between the Broncos and the Browns that would send Jay Cutler to Cleveland for Golden Boy Brady Quinn and Disgruntled Behemoth Shaun Rogers.
Here is the excerpt from the post at BroncosFreaks.com:
Well, ok, letâ€™s say the Broncos really are shopping Jay Cutler. The deal with Cassel is moot at this point, the Broncos must be looking for new suitors. We understand that the Browns have an attractive option in place. Some Broncos fans will probably â€˜freakâ€™ when they hear such a ludicrous suggestion, but hey, were you any more shocked by Shanahan getting fired or Portis being traded?
Our source tells us the players involved are: Brady Quinn and Shaun Rogers for Jay Cutler and the Broncos 3rd round draft pick.
I thought, absolutely no way when I first heard this, but, it makes sense on some level. The Broncos want to put a 3-4 defense in place in 2009, but have a huge hole in the middle of that scheme. There are no real NTs available in free agency, and the top name in the draft (BJ Raji) will most likely be gone at pick #12. Shaun Rogers has asked for his release or trade, wanting nothing to do with the Browns. Perfect match there, at least for the next couple years. Given that McDaniels and Xanders have gone after veteran defensive talent thus far (Dawkins,Goodman,etc) it makes sense on that level as well.
Now, Brady Quinn? We have heard that Mangini is not thrilled with the prospect of using Quinn. We have also heard that he covets a gun slinging, cannon armed QB to run his offense (a younger Favre), who wouldnâ€™t really?
This is absolutely the only source that I have heard anything about such a rumor from. Naturally, my first instinct was to run over to the Orange and Brown Report to see if they had anything posted about this. They did not. So I contacted our friend Barry McBride, who runs the Rumor Mill over at the OBR, and he had not heard anything about it. He’s checking though. If there is anything to this, the OBR guys are the best bet to sniff it out. (For the record, no word over at PFT either.)
(Update 3/2, 10:20 PM: The word I am getting on this so far from people I trust is that it is most likely BS. It’ll get people talking, but there are too many cap implications for anything like this to happen without some major contract restructuring. It’s not impossible, but the cap realities would make it highly difficult to swing. If I hear anything else, I’ll post later.)
(Update 3/3, 12:00 AM: The OBR addressed the Cutler-to-Browns trade rumors at the Rumor Mill, echoing what we posted earlier, but in more graphic detail: the cap ramifications might just make your head explode.)
(Update 3/3, 12:24 AM: Last update of the night. PFT jumped on this story late this evening. Their site is down for maintenance right now so I can’t link to the post, but an excerpt was posted in the Browns forum at the Plain-Dealer website:
“Earlier on Monday, a league source advised us that the new regime in Cleveland â€” known lovingly in league circles as â€œManKokâ€ â€” would likely be interested in Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler as an alternative to Derek Anderson and/or Brady Quinn.
And there are indeed as of this posting an old-fashioned, unsubstantiated, poo-on-the-wall â€œInternet rumorâ€ regarding a deal that would send Brady Quinn and Shaun Rogers to the Broncos for Cutler and a third-round pick.”
Florio goes on to say that he has not heard anything specific, nor does he intend to considering the tight-lipped nature of the Browns’ new regime. But he closes by saying he considers it “a possibility.”
Link to PFT post about a potential Browns trade for Jay Cutler.
I will wait until there is something more substantiated about this rumor before analyzing at length. Nothing against the guys at BroncosFreaks; I’m sure they have reliable sources. But until our usual suspects of trusted sources reports something, I remain wary of this kind of blockbuster deal.
However, I will say this: it would not surprise me in the least to see some kind of whopper trade come completely out of the blue in Cleveland. We know that Eric Mangini and George Kokinis like to play things very close to the vest, so something tells me that if something big were to happen, they would be extraordinarily discreet about it.
Although, since the trade is already getting second-hand, unsubstantiated pub here at Midwest Sports Fans, I guess you could say the cat is out of the bag if the rumor of Jay Cutler being traded to the Browns for Brady Quinn and Shaun Rogers is in fact true.
Stay tuned. In the meantime, what are your thoughts?
This very well could turn out to be much ado about nothing, but it is an entertaining thought to kick around. How committed are you to Brady Quinn as the future of the Browns? How far gone do you think the relationship is between Shaun Rogers and Eric Mangini? Would you rather have Jay Cutler and a draft pick over the unproven Brady Quinn and the very proven by very disgruntled Shaun Rogers? Even if it’s nothing, the rumor itself raises some very interesting questions about the Browns’ future.
Update — 3/3, 7:31 am: After a night to sleep on it, and to realize there is at least some validity to the rumor if the OBR and PFT posted about it, and the PFT post got mention on SI.com’s “Truth and Rumors” section, here are my thoughts:
After having a night to think about this, and realizing that there certainly appears to be some legitimate smoke (even if the cap realities suggest there could never be a fire), a couple quick thoughts:
1 – I definitely like Jay Cutler over Quinn, not this is a shocking or insightful observation. Cutler has experience and a better arm, even if he is acting a little bit douchey in the aftermath of the trade rumors. Sounds like he just wants to get the hell out of Denver. And you know he would be motivated going to a new team to stick it to the Broncos.
2 – I do not like this deal if the Shaun Rogers of 2009 and beyond is going to be like the Shaun Rogers of 2008. However, if the Browns determine that the relationship is beyond repair, and that Rogers will sulk and loaf, it may be best to get something for him now.
3 – Don’t underestimate the value of a 3rd round pick. The Browns have tossed away drafts picks like skipping stones the last few offseasons, and adding more mid-round picks is a great way to cost-effectively build the depth of a roster that is not overly deep.
Regardless, I like the idea of a bold move like this. Cutler has extraordinary talent, and was not the reason why the Broncos have struggled the last few years. The majority of the fault for the Broncos not making the playoffs has been its defense. I don’t necessarily think our D is much better right now, but having Cutler gives us a clear #1 at the most important position on the field. Yes, we’d have to replace Shaun Rogers — and would not be able to before the 2009 season — but if he is going to be disgruntled anyway, let’s just clean house and get rid of as many of the attitudes as possible.
I can see the points on both sides, and am not averse one bit to keeping Quinn and Rogers. But trading Kellen and then a bold move like this might help to light a fire under the rest of the players in the locker room. NFL players who are uncomfortable and know that the status quo is always in question seem to play with more focus and edge. We need a little more focus and edge in Cleveland, and we need bold moves to reverse a decade of futility.
Like any big move, a deal like this could backfire. But I’d rather strike out swinging for the fences, with the chance to hit a home run, than take a walk and most likely still get stranded on first.
Update — 3/3, 1:12 PM: This is seriously the last update on this particular post.Â For those still making their way here, we just posted another item, based on some analysis from Barry McBride at the OBR, throws a little water on the fire.Â The cap ramifications of Jay Cutler for Brady Quinn and Shaun Rogers deal for the Browns would be quite severe, and will likely prevent it from taking place — if it was ever even a legitimate possibility to begin with.
Jay Cutler photo courtesy of AP Photo/Ed Andrieski