How the ugly, ugly Jay Cutler situation plays out in Denver is likely to have a ripple effect throughout the league, Eagles included. I'm not talking about a trade to acquire Cutler, because I don't believe the Eagles are interested in altering their quarterback picture. But what happens with Cutler, where it lands and what it costs a team to trade for him could certainly have a major impact on the Eagles in 2009 and even beyond this season.
This is a real quarterback controversy folks, not the kind of media-generated nonsense the Eagles have gone through for, oh, about the last 10 seasons. Denver came out on Tuesday evening and announced it would seek to trade Cutler, a franchise-type quarterback who has shown flashes of greatness with the Broncos, but who has still not put it all together. How long Cutler remains in Denver, and to what extent the we-said/he-said saga continues is obviously going to have a major impact on the Broncos in 2009. And the Eagles play Denver, so it is going to have an impact on Philadelphia's season, also.
Beyond that, though, there are potential implications. Is there a team in the NFC East that would be interested in acquiring Cutler? The Redskins are one of the teams mentioned as candidates, but Washington's front office has said nothing on the subject. Should the Redskins ever admit to such a thing, they would lose their own promising young quarterback, Jason Campbell. Hurt feelings, apparently, are enough to ruin a relationship between a team and a quarterback.
Neither the Giants nor the Cowboys would seem to be in the market for a quarterback. The Eagles are not, and again I will reiterate that Andy Reid feels very good about his trio of Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and A.J. Feeley. So cross Cutler off of your rumor mills. It isn't worth the time. There are other rumors out there that at least have a half-percent chance of happening, whereas Cutler has zero chance of becoming an Eagle as I see it.
Certainly, though, there are NFC teams interested in Cutler. He might make a team like the Bears instant contenders. Detroit needs a quarterback. Tampa Bay has many pieces in place, but nobody to throw the football. So the balance of power could swing however much should Cutler be traded to the NFC at the right price and to the right team.
Beyond that, there are lessons to be learned for every team. Denver appeared to handle the entire process in a curious matter with its public admission that the team was interested in trading for then-New England quarterback Matt Cassel, who instead was traded to Kansas City. That ticked off the Cutler camp to the point where the whole marriage has gone sour. Every team can gain something from studying how the Broncos/Cutler story eroded so quickly.
Too, should Cutler actually get traded -- and it sure looks like it will happen -- a marketplace will be established for teams trading/acquiring franchise-type quarterbacks. Like it or not, every team has to contemplate every scenario and understand the big picture because you just never know when things will change in an NFL city.
For the short term, you have to wonder how first-year head coach Josh McDaniels will react and how he will prepare the Broncos for this season. Denver signed all of those free agents -- including former Eagles Brian Dawkins and Correll Buckhalter -- and it is difficult enough to integrate so many new parts so quickly. Add on the most dramatic and unsettling quarterback-hates-team scenario to come along in many years in the NFL and the Broncos appear to be a full-blown soap opera right now.
It is bizarre, no doubt. Right now, we're all kind of reading into the Cutler/Broncos story from afar, and with great interest. In some way, though, in many shapes, whatever happens with Cutler is going to impact the Eagles, and every NFL team.