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QB for Trade

March 31, 2009 at 11:22 pm
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So the other shoe has finally dropped in Denver, and it’s now official: quarterback Jay Cutler is available for trade. No big surprise. Everybody but the Broncos has seemed to know that Cutler and Denver were done a month ago.

That decision to fire Mike Shanahan is looking worse and worse.

Big question from my end is whether the Jets should go after Cutler, now that he’s officially on the market. I admit to having mixed feelings about that.

With the NFL draft only a month away, all the draft gurus have been beating the drum about how the Jets need to draft a quarterback. Myself, I think their collective analysis is faulty. Right now the Jets have three QBs on the roster: Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliffe, and Eric Ainge. Between the three of them, they have a total of eight NFL starts. That’s why the draft gurus keep saying the Jets need a QB.

But say the Jets listen, and draft Sanchez (if he falls to 17), or Freeman, or one of the other college QBs. Now they will have four quarterbacks on the roster, and between they will still have a total of eight NFL starts. So what’s changed? Clemens, Ratliffe, and Ainge are all young, raw talents with big arms and zero experience. Any college kid the Jets can draft is going to be exactly the same. There’s no guarantee that Sanchez or Freeman is going to be any better over a career than Clemens, Ratliffe, or Ainge.

So I’ve been against this draft-a-QB drumbeat. The Jets need more help on defense, is what they need. A big wide receiver to take the place of Laveranues Coles would also be good.

Cutler is a different proposition, however. This is no raw recruit coming out of college, this is an established NFL quarterback, one that many commentators are saying is the best of his draft class. He could be “Broadway Jay,” I suppose, and lead the Jets for the next decades. He has a big arm too, and that’s an important asset in the windy Meadowlands.

But — and here’s where the doubts creep in — he’s also shown himself to be temperamental and thin-skinned. That’s the part that worries me. If his feelings could be so badly bruised by his new coach’s attempt to trade him, what’s going to happen if he comes to New York and has a bad game, and the NYC media start in on him?

I don’t know. I just don’t know.

But it should be interesting to see how it all works out.

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