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"A conversation with his agent earlier today clearly communicated and confirmed to us that Jay no longer has any desire to play for the Denver Broncos. We will begin discussions with other teams in an effort to accommodate his request to be traded.”
Cutler formally submitted a trade request March 15 following a meeting with McDaniels.
The Broncos' starting quarterback since the 12th game of the 2006 season, Cutler has been unhappy since Feb. 28, when he learned he was part of a trade proposal that would have sent him to Tampa Bay and former New England quarterback Matt Cassel to Denver. Cassel was instead dealt to Kansas City.
Today's development tends to confirm a belief stated in previous articles published on this site: Bowlen is clearly tired of Cutler's belief the QB owns the team and the owner does not. That fact became obvious in a back and forth between Bowlen and agent James "Bus" Cook that took place the week before last.
Cook, in explaining his client's issues began long before McDaniels was hired, told reporters on Mar. 18: "Jay was disappointed in the firing of Mike Shanahan and met with the owner. The owner assured him everything would be fine. The owner said he had the second-best offense in football and would leave the offensive staff intact. Jay was good with that. Then he hires an offensive coach who gets rid of the staff."
Bowlen replied later that afternoon: "I really have had no discussion with Jay or the agent. Mike was fired right after the season. At that point, there was no need to have a discussion with Jay. ..."
More ominously, asked about Cutler's future in Denver, Bowlen told NFL.com's Thomas George: "To tell you the truth, I have no answer to that question. I would like to keep him here, obviously. But if you are going to be an unhappy camper, there is no real reason to be here."
I'll go out on a limb here and suggest Bowlen has concluded that Cutler's "unhappy camper" status is permanent.
At this point it remains to be seen how quickly the Broncos will move to follow through on consummating a deal -- and whether Bowlen’s openness in stating the team’s intentions limits their ability to get full value; but it's certainly safe to say they’ve chosen a path.
Or as Profootballtalk.com's Mike Florio put it: "If there was any doubt, the auction is open. Let the bidding begin. ..."
For what it’s worth. ... Denver Post staffer Mike Klis reminded readers tonight that numerous teams have expressed interest in Cutler over the past few weeks, including the New York Jets, Chicago, Tampa Bay, Detroit and Minnesota.
Until Tuesday, however, McDaniels and the Broncos have been adamant that they would not trade Cutler. That has obviously changed. Stay tuned.