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Buzz building on Cutler to Skins

Apr 1, 2009, 10:29 PM EDT

It appears that there is a raging inferno of fire underneath all of the Jay Cutler to the Washington Redskins smoke that’s billowing around the Beltway and beyond.

Of course, John Keim of the Examiner first reported that the Redskins were interested in Cutler on March 18. Vinny Cerrato and Jim Zorn both issued carefully-parsed denials. Keim stuck by his story while other media outlets reported the lack of interest expressed by the team.

Tonight, less than 24 hours after the Broncos announced that Cutler is indeed on the trading block, the Redskins are widely considered to be one of the front runners to obtain the Pro Bowl quarterback. I’m seeing a crawl on ESPN News stating that an NFL source is saying that the Redskins are “actively pursuing” a trade for Cutler. I don’t know if Jason LaCanfora is talking to the same guy, but he also quotes an NFL source in saying that the Skins are actively in the Cutler sweepstakes.

The most interesting part of the Post story was this one line:

The Redskins declined comment.

There was no denial, not even a non-denial denial. Throw another log on that fire.

The scary part (if you are one of those who values future draft picks) is this:

One source said the Redskins are trying to complete the deal as quickly as possible. . .

If you want to buy a certain house as quickly as possible, you offer more than the asking price. If you’re Dan Snyder and you want to get to yes in a hurry, you throw out $100 million contracts for defensive linemen or, in this case, thousands of draft chart value points in picks.

Cap not a deterrent

The relatively small amount of salary cap space that the Redskins have is in no way a deterrent to a Cutler trade. Cutler is signed for the next three years and his ’09 salary is just over $1 million. In fact, assuming that Jason Campbell leaves as part of a deal, the Redskins actually will save a bit of money as Campbell’s salary is around $1.4 million.

There is a $12 million roster bonus due in the last year of the deal so if there still is a salary cap it would behoove the Redskins to get something done before 2011 should they become Cutler’s employers.

  1. Kiran - Apr 1, 2009 at 10:43 PM

    Let me re-post something I just posted in response to one of your earlier messages that underscores why this move would be, in my opinion, a disaster for the Skins. Of course, if it happens (and seems like it will), I will be the first one to eat crow if Cutler succeeds – and I sincerely hope that if he is our QB he does. But here’s my thoughts on a deal, pre-trade:

    I just can’t shake the feeling that we should not trade draft picks, especially high picks, for Jay Cutler. He’s better than Jason, but again, I don’t think he adds nearly as much value to the team as a first round draft pick does.

    Would you trade guys like Michael Oher, Brian Cushing, Rey Mau or Knowshon in return for the marginal improvement you get from Jay Cutler? Even if they all turn out to be busts, knowing what I know at this point, I believe that the potential those players have to benefit the team outweighs the marginal benefit of bringing in Cutler and dumping Campbell.

    What I’m getting at here is that good organizations just don’t trade their number 1 draft picks for established players (which is why I almost had a stroke when we offered the Bengals two first rounders for Ocho Cinco). Think of the NFL’s leading front offices – Indianapolis, NE, SD, Pitt and now Atlanta and Miami. None of them ever trade high picks for players. They all groom talent in house, and if they trade top picks, it is to trade down, collect more picks and grab more talent from the draft. They then reward their talent, grown in-house, with big extensions – which in turn leads to greater team unity and loyalty, hungrier youngsters and mutual respect. They don’t bring in guys like Cutler who have demonstrated lack of professionalism just because they are slightly better than players they have (or for that matter pay the Haynesworths $48 mil), because bringing in outsiders and mortgaging both the team finances and the future breeds resentment among younger players who worked hard to make their names on the teams that drafted them (think: Antonio Pierce, Ryan Clark, Stephen Davis, the list goes on).

    Maybe I’m just holding on to a silly dogma, but I think that if a philosophy is good enough for Parcells, Dmitroff, Polian, Pioli and Smith, it should work for Cerrato. It also worked for Ted Leonsis:

  2. Doug - Apr 2, 2009 at 7:50 AM

    I’m not a Cutler fan, and I don’t want him in Washington. I am becoming more and more convinced that Dan Snyder will never learn how to run an NFL footbal team.

  3. The Analyst - Apr 2, 2009 at 9:34 AM

    Its Deja Vu all over again…

    I seem to remember us trying this once before when we dumped a steady if unspectacular quarterback (Brad Johnson) in favor of another cry baby alleged franchise quarterback (Jeff George). That one didn’t really work out so well for us, did it. In fact I would say Brad Johnson got the best of that deal, so I guess theres hope for Jason.

    I just don’t think this is going to help us one bit. As I have said here before, Quarterback is not what is standing between us and a Super Bowl. We have too many other holes to fill – O-Line, Linebacker, DLine, Corner. I predict that if Jay Cutler comes here, he will all of a sudden start looking very ordinary, and if Jason ends up behind a good O-line he will start looking an awful lot better to us.

    When can we look forward to the block buster trade that brings us a new owner?

  4. Anonymous - Apr 2, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    Campbell = leader

    Cutler = crybaby

  5. Kiran - Apr 2, 2009 at 2:54 PM

    This should be the final say on whether Cutler is “worth it” in pure football terms.

  6. Boss Hog - Apr 2, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    I just don’t understand any of this. Campbell is still an unknown commodity, but he’s already a middling starter and is still young and improving. Through the first 8 games of the year, when the line was giving him good protection, he put up pro-bowl numbers. JC certainly gets some blame for the collapse of the Skins offense down the stretch, but so does the line, the WRs, etc.

    Meanwhile, Cutler has put up better numbers in Denver, but again, it’s impossible to take them out of context. While Campbell labored under three totally distinct offensive systems, Cutler was groomed with consistency and care by one of the top offensive minds in the NFL. He also had a superior O-Line and better receiving weapons. Even in the running game, where Portis’s star presence supposedly gives the Skins an advantage, the Broncos averaged 4.8 yards a carry to Washington’s 4.4.

    Obviously, Cutler deserves a large portion of the credit for Denver’s offensive success. But it’s so hard to seperate a QB from the team around him. I’d say Cutler’s chances of becoming a stud 10-year starter capable of leading a contending team are about 75%. I’d say Campbell’s chances are still 50-50. Is that additional 25% worth dangerously upsetting team chemistry and destroying offensive continuity (YET AGAIN) — not to mention a first round draft pick and more! (possibly, perhaps probably, 2 first rounders since Denver doesn’t seem to want Campbell). I don’t think it is worth it. Archives

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