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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pass on Cutler

Now that the Denver Broncos have taken time to announce that they will be attempting to trade their starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, most Donovan McNabb detractors appear to be breathing heavy at the prospect of acquiring him. While I’m ready to move on from the McNabb “era,” I’m not totally sold on Cutler.

I see the appeal (besides the fact that he’s simply not McNabb). Cutler’s a young guy who has already started in the NFL for a few years with some mild success. It seems like a chance to skip over the growing pains of letting Kevin Kolb start for the first time or bringing in a rookie.

Yet, besides the fact that the Eagles management is allergic to doing anything the fans might actually want done, I just can’t get all that excited about the thought of Cutler playing for the Eagles. I’m not sure it matters who the quarterback is any more. This team has just spent the bulk of yet another free agency period doing next to nothing. Despite the one year when they made a splash by signing Terrell Owens, and, you know, going to the Super Bowl, they continue to believe they can win with mediocre to good wide receivers. (Only DeSean Jackson forces the hedge on the word “mediocre.”)

Then, of course, there’s Andy Reid’s play calling, which I’ll have plenty of time to rip during the season. But, for now, I’ll just repeat the mantra that he makes it too hard on quarterbacks by the absurd amount of pass plays he calls.

The biggest reason not to get excited may be Cutler himself. The guy’s still on his rookie contract, has about a .500 record as a starter with some decent talent around him, and he’s crying because his new coach considered bringing in Matt Cassel. Hasn’t Philadelphia had enough of sensitive quarterbacks?

Finally, one more reason not to care about whether or not the Eagles acquire Cutler is because the organization continues to make it harder and harder to care about them at all. Jeffrey Lurie is now claiming that the $8 million he owes the city of Philadelphia was all but forgiven by the outgoing Mayor Street in a handshake deal. This is a guy that recently made Forbes’ list of billionaires. Even if he is right, this is just one more public relations nightmare for a guy that couldn’t make a good impression right now if he was given step-by-step instructions for doing it.

Bottom line, don’t worry about Cutler, Philadelphia. We got Villanova in the Final Four and the world champion Phillies starting this weekend. Besides, it’s not going to happen.

One more thing related to Cutler – how does Brian Dawkins’ decision to sign with Denver look now? Hate to say it, but it didn’t look like he had gone somewhere to win when he signed, and now he could end his career stuck with a rebuilding team depending how this plays out. Worst of all, it gives the Eagles one more opportunity to talk about how they let a guy go at the “right” time. Even if Dawkins plays well, if he’s not making the Pro Bowl and he’s mired on a team missing the playoffs every year, he’ll be just another guy the Eagles were “right” about. I’m not supporting the argument, but I know it’s coming.

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