In my career as a project manager I have had day, weeks, even months when it seemed like everything was going to heck in a hand basket. In those times I always found it helpful to ask myself how bad could it really be. As Broncos fans the last 10 days seem to be one of those trying times. So I ask myself, how bad can it really be?
At this point probably our worst case scenario as fans is that Jay Cutler will somehow force the Broncos to trade him to another team. Let me stress - I AM NOT ADVOCATING TRADING JAY - But, in my opinion this does represent a worst case scenario.
For many of us, Cutler has become, in our minds, the QB who is going to lead us back to the promised land. Certainly Mike Shanahan seemed to believe that. It feels like if Cutler leaves there go our dreams as well. But is that necessarily so?
How Bad Is That
To be sure, Jay is the most talented QB we've seen since John Elway, possibly the most talented young QB in the game today. However, do we really need a great QB? Ben Rothlesburger has one two and while he's decent, I don't think anyone considers him great. Jim Plunket also one two. Trent Dilfer, Jeff Hostedtler, Jim McMahon, Doug Williams have all won the big game and I don't think anyone even considers the hof when thinking of those guys.
John Elway may be the greatest ever, but he couldn't get it done without the supporting cast. Once that cast was assembled they may have been able to win both Super Bowls without Elway. (Even with Elway they couldn't beat Jacksonville in 96 without TD) So maybe it's premature to close Dove Valley and write off the season.
What About A Trade
So what if JC is traded - what would that mean to the team? While it's difficult to find out the actual details of the trade that didn't happen, What I've read leads me to believe that Tampa was willing to part with their #1 (19th) and either their 2nd or their 3rd (I've read both). I think it's quite conceivable that the Broncos could get a 1st and a 2nd for Cutler and possibly a conditional 3rd.
Who might make that trade? Tampa Still seems interested if you believe their local papers. Rumor is that Detroit is as well and possibly the Jets. I wouldn't want to see Cutler in the AFC but I could live with any of those.
What Would We Do
Well it's intriguing to consider just what we might do with an extra 1st and 2nd pick. For one thing we could fix the NT position. I think Fields is a good fill-in. But we really need a dominant NT. Maybe Cleveland could be convinced to give up Shaun Rogers for a 1st and a 3rd. Or maybe we could trade up to where we could draft BJ Raji
Bell. Rogers would make more of an immediate impact, but Bell Raji might be a better long term investment.
We could also look at the QB position. I think Simms could be an adequate caretaker, but I would feel better with a higer quality QB. We might also be able to trade up the get Stafford or White (I prefer White but others may disagree). Alternatively, the Cardinals have an problem with Matt Leinart now that the've signed Warner to a new deal. We could trade for Leinart. I think Leinart was overrated coming out of USC, but all indication are that he was a better QB than Cassel. Maybe it could work.
Do I think either of these two QB alternative are better than having Cutler? Of course not! BUT, fixing NT and bringing in a QB could actually be bette than keeping Cutler. And it's probably no worse. At least with a good defense you can stay in games.