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March 16, 2009 10:00 AM

Is Jay Cutler Done In Denver?

It appears that this he-said, she-said dramatic standoff between the Denver Broncos and Jay Cutler is finally coming to an end. And it's a less than peaceful outcome. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Cutler will not report to the team's meeting today, and says he wants a trade.

Cutler and new head coach Josh McDaniels, the former Patriots offensive coordinator, had a meeting Saturday, and that's when things fell apart.

"I went in there with every intention of solving the issue, being a Bronco, moving forward as a Bronco," Cutler said. "We weren't in there but about 20 minutes, [McDaniels] did most of the talking and as far as I'm concerned, he made it clear he wants his own guy. He admitted he wanted Matt Cassel because he said he has raised him up from the ground as a quarterback. He said he wasn't sorry about it. He made it clear that he could still entertain trading me because, as he put it, he'll do whatever he feels is in the best interest of the organization.

"At the end of the meeting, he wasn't like, 'Jay, I want you as our quarterback, you're our guy.' It felt like the opposite. He basically said that I needed to tell him if we can't work this out, to let him know," Cutler added. "I thought he was antagonizing me and that was disappointing because I was ready to move on, committed as a Bronco. Really, I figured we'd hash things out, shake hands, laugh a little and move forward. What happened [Saturday] was the last thing I expected. If I didn't think it could be fixed, I never would have come back to Denver. It was painfully obvious to me and Bus [Cook, his agent] it's not something they want to fix."

After that, Cutler told his agent to formally request a trade from Denver.

When did this all turn sour? Right around the time Cutler forgot the NFL was a business, and a not a game played by favorites and best buddies. So the Broncos inquired about Matt Cassel -- what's the problem there? Considering Cutler is 17-20 in his career, it's not a terrible idea for Denver to poke around and see what else might be available to them.

As always, there's a shortage of NFL quarterbacks on NFL teams (the 49ers and Jets come to mind), but according to Mike Kils of the Denver Post, the Titans and Bears may be the front-runners.

"If Cutler is dealt, his preferences figure to be the Tennessee Titans, who play in Nashville, or the Chicago Bears, his favorite childhood team who would seem to be in need of a quarterback upgrade. Other possibilities could be Cleveland, whose coach, Eric Mangini, was formerly McDaniels' colleague on Bill Belichick's staff in New England; Tampa Bay; Minnesota; Detroit and Arizona."
The ultimate sign the Cutler-era could be over? He's already put up his Denver home for sale.

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