Monday, March 9, 2009

Comments on Quarterback Free Agency

Posted by Vanguard sports writer, Allison Whited

The shake-ups that rattle the football world during free agency are felt most strongly in the quarterback position. And this off-season has had it's fair share of seismic activity.

Kurt Warner just signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, practically guaranteeing that the 37-year old QB will end his career in the desert. Good for him. But I take a little issue with his attitude. Warner's agent made it clear at the beginning of free agency that Warner was due the pay that the top five QBs receive. Mind you, despite some spectacular years, he has had more than his fair share of throw away years. Does anybody remember Kurt Warner, mentor extraordinaire to Eli Manning in New York? No, you say. That's with good reason. It was more than forgettable. It was worthy of traumatic amnesia. It is also well-known that he has been battling for the starting job every year since Matt Leinart was drafted.

I'm moving on to Jay Cutler now. Poor, poor Jay Cutler. I despised him when Denver drafted him because I knew that would be the end of Jake “The Snake” Plummer, and I adored that guy and his on-field intelligence. But today, my heart is with Jay Cutler. Josh McDaniels needs to realize he is now the head coach of a team and that being in that position requires a certain amount of poise and awareness. Let me set the scene for you. On the eve of free-agency, McDaniels and Broncos brass make a disorganized, incomplete play to acquire McDaniels's former QB protégé Matt Cassel from the New England Patriots, sending Cutler to Detroit. Never mind that Cutler has three years left on his contract. Never mind that he had a great season last year, despite the team's overall inadequacies. Never mind that he is the exact kind of QB the Denver fans demand, an image of John Elway formed by God's own hand. Elway is a god there, make no mistake.

So the deal falls through and Cassel heads to Kansas City. Good for Denver fans I think because they would never be able to stomach a QB like him. And because the dealings in free agency are spread around in a fashion similar to the spreading of a rumor in a girl's locker room, Cutler's agent found out and kindly let him know. Now Jake Cutler is sad. Very sad. He has said to anyone who will listen he will not talk to the team right now and that he is in an utter state of shock about what happened. Now all McDaniels has done is created a bitter pot for Cutler to stew in during the off-season. And what Denver needs more than anything is a revamped defense. Mike Shanahan's grave was the skill he put into offense. In my opinion, McDaniels has really blown his first big call as a head coach. I sincerely hope this ordeal makes him grow up quickly so that he can have a long career in this one-shot-don't-screw-it-up league.

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