Denver – I had a good few days in Pittsburgh with Leslie and her girls. The weather was decent, Michaela weathered her chemo rather well, and as a result we got out to do a few interesting things. I had not been to a Friday night Lenten Fish Fry since leaving Pennsylvania, and I forgot how much I enjoyed the Carnegie Museum. Evan had some fun with his grandmother as well, and our flight back was pleasant and efficient. JetBlue’s new terminal for its’ hub at JFK is a very inviting and pleasant facility.
Getting to the car and leaving the airport area, I was interested in what local news was saying about things, and after tuning to KOA I found out that the story generating the most coverage, analysis, and listener attention was of all things a whiny football player that is put out because he can’t get his way.
As the local news has been reporting for a couple of weeks now, Jay Cutler is not pleased that his new Head Coach wanted to bring in his wonder boy from the old job, and didn’t clue Jay in on what was happening, especially when they started talking trade. Young Mr. Cutler is now hurling accusations and epithets back at Coach McDaniels and his staff, and demanding to be traded.
Broncos owner Pat Bowlen has already passed down his chagrin over the situation, and a shaky consensus appears to be siding with management over the disgruntled employee. Despite this, I have to sympathize with Cutler on perhaps one issue.
Mr. Cutler was considered a vital component of the Broncos’ future, or at least until new management arrived, bringing along an agenda that included making Mr. Cutler available for trade consideration, apparently without his knowledge.
Unless he had a no-trade clause or veto power over a trade written into his contract, Cutler really doesn’t have a complaint on this part. This is merely strategic business development, and Cutler is a resource to be utilized to optimize the business’ success according to the vision put in place by management.
Cutler does have a beef about how he was treated as a human being, a supposed valuable resource with assurances that he was ‘vital’ to the team’s success. Any change in that assessment needed to be conducted with Cutler’s full knowledge, along with an opportunity to participate and contribute to that change process. Cutler feels that his trust in management was betrayed. In this context, I feel his pain.
Cutler had two choices on how to deal with this. Rather than accept the organization’s plan for the future, he opted to go public with his frustrations and essentially make himself untenable. The cliche about there being no ‘I’ in TEAM comes to mind, as well as giving new management a chance to succeed or fail with their plans. I understand some of this as well.
With this demonstrated approach, it will be interesting where Mr. Cutler ends up. The NFL’s version of developmental camp, the Detroit Lions, is one possibility. I’m also thinking that a trade to the Tennessee Titans, especially if Kerry Collins retires soon, may be an option.
This would put Mr. Cutler back in Nashville, where he plied his trade in college to great accolades. He might feel comfortable enough there to suck it up when a long-term coach goes away, and try to carefully evaluate potential change before stomping off.
Maybe he will thrive in those more familiar surroundings, occasionally churning up visions of past Vanderbilt successes before moving into a comfortable retirement, with a chain of used tractor dealerships, mail-order medical supply houses, and pawn shops, driving home in a vintage Cadillac, Springsteen’s “Glory Days” blasting on the stereo.
I would hope that he at least learns something from his experience as a “professional” in Denver.
Back in GJ tomorrow. Have a good week ahead.