Breaking: Jay Cutler Formally Requests A Trade

Jay Cutler will not attend a team meeting with head coach Josh McDaniels that was scheduled to take place later on today. In fact, the star quarterback has formally requested a trade.

Via ESPN’s Chris Mortensen:

“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 the talk, Cutler asked his agent Bus Cook to formally request the team to trade him.

Here is how Josh McDaniels responded to the situation:

“I really have wanted to avoid a he-said, she-said thing but it’s only fair for us to present the Bronco side of the story rather than let things get taken out of context,” McDaniels said. “There’s been a pattern here for the past two weeks the way things [have been represented] in our communications. I don’t think anything that happened [Saturday] was out of the ordinary. At the end of the meeting, Jay said he had thought about things quite a bit and requested a few more hours to mull things over. He said he wanted to talk to Bus on how to proceed. He was gonna call me on my cell phone and that never happened. Instead, Bus called [GM] Brian [Xanders].

“Again, I think that’s been a pattern. I couldn’t get [Cutler] to talk to me for two weeks or to talk to Mr. Bowlen. Then when he came here this weekend, we couldn’t get a one-on-one meeting, just me and him alone. He wanted Bus in there, so I had Brian sit in, too. And it was the four of us. There wasn’t any yelling, none of that. I can’t believe we get to a totally different [interpretation].

“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances that has cropped up, a potential distraction and we’ve done our best to limit that. The main message I want to get out is that we’re excited to start our offseason program [Monday]. It’s an exciting time for us.”

Even though Cutler has requested a trade, he will still participate in all mandatory team events. 

“I certainly went back there, expecting I’d be there [Monday] but not now,” Cutler said. “It’s not mandatory. I’ll attend every mandatory mini-camp and training camp but that’s it. Really, it’s best for me to move on. As coach said, he needs every eye in the meeting room to be on him and not me.”

Apparently Cutler wasn’t happy that McDaniels didn’t offer to take him to Starbucks to talk too.

“You know, even after the meeting, I hung around town, kind of expecting him to call me and say, ‘Hey, let’s just me and you get away and have lunch or a cup of coffee’ and mend things, but that didn’t happen. So, I get it, really, it’s a business. I’m disappointed because I love being a Bronco but I think it’s run its course.”

In the midst of all of this, McDaniels did admit that he looked into trading Cutler when Matt Cassel was on the market, but said that once Cassel became a Chief, the talks seized.

“That’s what we have communicated ever since the deal with Cassel didn’t happen,” McDaniels said. “Other teams have called but we’re not interested in getting draft picks for Jay. I never made a statement [Saturday] that ‘you can be traded at any time.’ They asked a question and I told them it was the time of year when people inquire about your team. Your job, as a head coach and general manager, is to listen and not bypass any opportunity to help your team improve. I think most people [in the NFL] feel the same way. You make smart, educated decisions that are best for your football team.”

If Cutler gets his wish, expect the Vikings, Browns and Bears to be in the hunt. 

Woody Paige has a good take on this debacle in his column for the Denver Post. Here are some very informative few words:

There is no winner.

Everybody loses.

And the Broncos are the worst for it. An organization that used to be one of the classiest and most successful in professional sports has displaced Dallas and overtaken Oakland as the most diss-informational, dysfunctional franchise in football.

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