LOTD: The Death the Cutler for Quinn-Rogers Trade Rumors — and the Mainstream Media

Cap Implications of Cutler for Quinn-Rogers TradeAs you can tell, today has been a day of pure Browns speculation.

After reading last night about the rumored discussions between the the Browns and Broncos regarding a Jay Cutler for Brady Quinn-Shaun Rogers trade, I threw up a post detailing the speculation, with the caveat that the cap ramifications made a trade highly unlikely. Then, after reading PFT’s piece about the Giants stock-piling defensive lineman, I decided to throw the Braylon Edwards for Mathias Kiwanuka trade speculation out there too.

And things kind of took off from there.

Now though, it is time to throw a little water on the fire, at least with respect to the Jay Cutler for Brady Quinn and Shaun Rogers rumors. And the water comes courtesy of today’s official MSF superstar Barry McBride, who dug a little deeper into the cap ramifications for the Browns of such a trade. His post is today’s Link of the Day, in an effort to bring the Cutler trade rumors somewhat full circle since last night:

LOTD: It’s More Fun to Watch the Media Collapse in Real-Time! — (Orange and Brown Report)

I put some duct-tape around my brain and figured out the cap impact today. Dealing Quinn and Rogers, assuming no new contracts, would give the Browns more than eight million in additional dead cap space for 2009.

That assumes the Browns make the deal before any roster bonuses are paid to Quinn and Rogers this year. If not, then add those to the dead cap pile.

Then you have to pay Jay Cutler, which would be another million at the very least, if you don’t re-do his contract. BTW, he gets a $4 million roster bonus next year.

So, let’s figure you just burned $10 million – slightly less than half your cap space on a team with many holes – to swap Quinn and Rogers for Cutler. That’s a little less than 10% of your total cap space to make that swap. At least that leaves 90% for the other 50 guys.

Wow. Hey. Brilliant move.

You’ll have to hop on over to the OBR Rumor Central to read the rest of the article, but it is highly worth it. The above excerpt is presented as part of a discussion about the challenges currently being faced by the real media as they come to terms with the Wild Wild West nature of the Internet. As McBride says:

Seriously, why would an ad-supported news site even bother to spend time and money breaking news? They maybe get 10% of the page views for breaking the story. Info-scavengers get the rest. The information eco-system is upside down.

He raises some extraordinarily interesting points, especially coming from the perspective of a guy who is helping to run a website that puts a good portion of its content behind a pay wall. You can access Rumor Central for free, but you have to pay the OBR to access the really good stuff. (And as I’ve said before, I am a paying subscriber and it is highly worth it.) There have been plenty of times where I have something interesting at the OBR and wanted to post about it here, but instead have just linked to their main site and suggested that you too should become a subscriber.

It is quite possible that to survive, newspapers will have to begin structuring their websites the same way. Otherwise, the information poachers (and I am guilty as charged) can continue to drive traffic from commentary based off the “free” information provided by the hard-working journalists at these newspapers. The OBR seems to have a pretty good model, although I have no idea what their revenue or profit model looks like; and there is a good chance that we will see more and more websites who provide first-hand reporting (as they do at the OBR) go to a similar model.

I certainly can’t say I would blame them. It would just make the existence of run-of-the-mill bloggers like yours truly a little more difficult…and a lot more expensive. Don’t get me wrong, I am not writing this to decry bloggers or say that I think we are doing something inherently wrong by citing excerpts (so as long as links are provided). I work very hard at what I do and try to take the original source report and add my own spin, insights, commentary, or perspective. Even if I stopped, citing some grand altruistic intentions, what real difference would it make? We drive 2,500-5,000 visitors a day at Midwest Sports Fans, which is exciting to us, but hardly even a raindrop in the ocean of the sports blogosphere.

However, add those raindrops up from all the many sports blogs that primarily post second-hand commentary off of first-hand reporting, and you have part of the reason for the inclement storm currently rocking the mainstream media ships to the point of being capsized.

It’s a very interesting topic, and there is no doubt that the strategies newspapers employ to stay afloat could alter sports blogging, and blogging in general, in the months and years ahead. Post your thoughts down in the comments, but definitely check out the article at the OBR. It is very interesting food for thought.

Here is the link again:

LOTD: It’s More Fun to Watch the Media Collapse in Real-Time! — (Orange and Brown Report)

And more links from around the sports blogosphere:

Is Roberto Alomar telling us the truth? — (Deep Left Field)

The Week That Was College Basketball: March 3, 2009 — (Sparty and Friends)

Lou Piniella outraged by ESPN analyst’s criticism — (Chicago Tribune)

The Worst Contracts in Baseball — (Spring Training 09)

2009 NFL Mock Draft — (My Sports Rumors)

The Real Big Ben Vegas Picks — (Mondesi’s House)

Happy Birthday Ben Roethlisberger — (One For the Thumb)

The WBC and MLB’s Marketing Experiment (Revisited) — (The Biz of Baseball)

Jay Cutler photo courtesy of AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

About Jerod Morris

I love words. I write for Copyblogger and founded MSF, The Assembly Call, & Primility. I practice yoga, eat well, & strive for balance. I love life. Namaste. Say hi on Twitter, Facebook, & G+.


  1. Midnight Writer says:

    Jrod, You’ve convinced me. I think I will subscribe to Orange and Brown Report. But why do those guys know more than The Plain Dealer — or are they just able to post the first rumors faster?

    Again, I don’t like the dismantling mode of the Nomangenius-Koko Regime. Taking great players who were undercoached and shuttling them out of town is stupid.

    Plus, you bring up a good point about the salaries. Even Randy Lerner can’t afford to lose as much as $10 mil.

    • @Midnight Writer,

      They have a good staff of reporters who work hard and develop solid sources. Like everyone else in Cleveland now, access is obviously more restricted for them, but I do think they are able to gather and post information quicker and with more freedom than the Plain-Dealer writers.

      The point about the salaries was all Barry at the OBR, but he is absolutely right. It would be hard for any player to justify that kind of cap hit, let alone someone as talented, but unaccomplished, as Cutler.

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