Like many other Broncos fans I hoped that today's announcement was an April Fool's joke. However, as reality sunk in, I realized that we can still use this as an opportunity to improve our team. First, we must ensure we have a quality quarterback, even if not up to the potential that Jay Cutler promised us from the moment he stepped onto the field. Second, we must acquire as many quality players, most likely through the draft, as possible.
I do not like the idea of acquiring the No. 1 pick, or even in the top 5 or 10. The salary that goes along with those draft positions does not correspond to the impact the player would have. In addition, this would not go along with the so-called "Patriot Way." I, and presumably Josh McDaniels/Brian Xanders, would rather amass picks in the late first to third rounds in order to pick up quality starting players on the cheap.
Therefore, it seems that Detroit, barring a three-way trade or an absolute fleecing (perhaps including Calvin Johnson?) would not be entirely suitable. Tampa Bay doesn't have enough of value. The Vikings probably wouldn't be willing to give up enough since they are close given the rest of their team, but perhaps they would mortgage their future for a shot next year. I don't really know what the interest of the Bears or Jets will be either, or what they can offer.
None of the previous teams seems like a good fit at least straight up because none of them can offer a good QB (Sage Rosenfels?). What about the Rams? Bulger seems like he would be a good fit as a "system" QB protected by the so called Denver secret service (aka Ryan Clady). Again, even the number 3 pick doesn't seem that attractive, but this is a trade that would not make me throw up. The Rams would probably trade Bulger for Cutler and throw in some picks, because by the time they finish their rebuild, Bulger will be pretty worn down from the beating he's been taking behind that O-line with Orlando Pace getting injured every year.
Other teams with acceptable quarterbacks would be Washington, Seattle, Jacksonville and Cleveland. Obviously the Browns have been mentioned many times in three way deals involving Brady Quinn. While I understand the Charlie Weis connection and think that Dr. Brady Quinn, medicine woman (bring back any Rivers/Cutler trash talk memories) is a decent QB, I really would not be that happy with him under center. Some have proposed a straight up trade including Shaun Rogers at NT, but I'm not sold on this either. I don't want unproved players or highly paid veterans. I want quality, low wage players, aka draft picks.
Seattle would be similar to a less attractive St. Louis trade with Hasselbeck instead of Bulger. I don't see Hasselbeck as that viable. Jason Campbell on the other hand has shown some potential, and David Garrard showed me enough in his playoff win against the steelers that both of them would be potential targets. However, I don't get the sense that either one of them would fit the McDaniels mold.
I can see trading Cutler for draft picks and riding into next year with the offspring of Phil Simms, the hated announcer and demolisher of Broncos, at QB. I would actually prefer this to wasting time/money on another halfway decent QB bust. I would rather have Josh tutor another 7th round QB for a year and improve the rest of the team.
There is however one crazy trade I thought of that would give us a legit QB and improve our team at the same time, perhaps vaulting us into Super Bowl contention at once. What team has multiple low range first round picks? What celebrated and controversial QB is most underappreciated, perhaps even unappreciated by the fans whose team he has carried on his back to countless conference championships with limited offensive talent? What QB shared a locker room with the Beast, BDAWK last year? DONOVAN MCNABB. I realize that he, like many of the previously mentioned QBs may not seem to fit McDaniel's "system QB" mold. But he is a veteran who's been there, done that. He's been through every possible controversy, and he's always shown up and played. I hope in the Patriot way of picking up veterans, we acquire Donovan McNabb. With the Eagles two first round picks, Nos. 21 and 28, we could pick up some quality players. I would even throw in our No. 12 with Cutler in exchange for McNabb, and the Nos. 21, 28, 53, and 85 picks. Think of the amount of talent we could amass with 2 picks in the first, second and third rounds of the draft, none of whom we would have to pay. Draft a third string QB to groom for the future in the mold of the Patriots, and we would be immediately competitive and have a bright future.
I've always though McNabb was underappreciated and deserved better. It would be great to see him in Denver, because I will be seriously down if we start the season with some scrub or rookie in the place of our former superstar. McNabb has the credentials to make me forget Jay, at least for the couple years he has left in the tank. His veterean savvy would immediately change the culture of the team in the same way B. Dawk will help our defense. Next to the Patriots, the Eagles have been one of the scrappiest franchises in the NFL over the last decade, and McNabb is a big reason why.
I think that the Eagles would agree to this trade, plus or minus a few picks because obviously they already drafted Kevin Kolb (but come on Kolb or Cutler?) so they're looking to the future. Their fan base does not know what they have in McNabb (many teams don't have a halfway decent QB, including, I'm afraid, the Broncos), in fact I think there was more unrest about the departure of Dawkins than there would be over McNabb's. Given the constant controversies and benching of McNabb this last season, their commitment to him can't be that high, even though he requested a contract extension. Given the chance to replace him with another elite, but much younger QB, don't you think they would pull the trigger? Once in principle the McNabb/Cutler swap is in place, then the Broncos should try to take as many of the Eagles picks as possible. If neccessary, include the 12 pick, so that we in essence replace our QB and trade down in the draft simultaneously.
What do you think? What combination of picks do you think would get this deal done? Do you think I'm smoking crack? Or could it happen? Donovan McNabb might just look as good in the new orange alternate uniforms as Brian Dawkins did. Which is to say very good.Who cares if he didn't know there are ties in football. You can't end a Super Bowl in a tie, and that's the game I want to win. I think McNabb could take us to the promised land if given the chance.