Both Jay Cutler and Brock Osweiler were, at one time, slated to become the Denver Broncos quarterback of the future. Although they got their respective shots, events of the past led them where they are today - not playing for Denver. Here's a look at the two quarterbacks who have the distinct honor of being some of the least liked in Broncos Country, not for what they did on the field, but off.
After the 2005 playoff loss to the Steelers in the AFC Championship game, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan made waves in the 2006 draft by moving up to select Jay Cutler in the first round. Jay showed a tremendous amount of promise in relief of Jake Plummer for the remainder of the 2006 season. His Broncos would go 2-3 and just Denver would miss the playoffs. That would be the story for every season Cutler was in Denver. In 2007, the Broncos would finish 7-9 and would again miss the playoffs. 2008 was more of the same with 8-8 record, only this one hurt more because all Denver needed was one win over its last three games to clinch the playoffs, but failed to do so. It was statistically an unprecedented collapse when San Diego ultimately won the west that year. Mike Shanahan was fired at the season's conclusion.
All in all, Jay Cutler was 17-20 with a completion percentage of just over 62%. With 54 touchdowns, 37 interceptions, and a Pro Bowl nod in 2008.
Brock Osweiler was brought in to be the insurance policy to the high stakes gamble of bringing Peyton Manning to Denver in 2012. The second round selection did not play much, appearing in spot duty in just 13 games from 2012 through the end of the 2014 season.
When old man Manning broke down against the Chiefs in week 10 of the 2015 season, Brock answered the call. With a 4-2 record going into the last game of the season against the Chargers, it looked as though Peyton Manning may never play another down for Denver. Then the lifeless Broncos offense bogged down in this crucial, must-have, game. Osweiler was benched in favor of Manning and it was Osweiler who would never take another snap for the Broncos.
Brock's nearly 62% completion percentage, 10 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and integral role in a magical Super Bowl season made him very attractive... and his contract was up.
Jay Cutler's Exit
In McDaniels, Bowlen went back in time. He nabbed a young, up and coming offensive talent with his eyes set on a long-term vision. If Bowlen has his way, McDaniels would be roaming the Mile High sidelines 14 years from now.
In all fairness to former 'Guru' John Bena, 74% of you agreed with him in his poll (featured in this article) that McDaniels was the right choice over Steve Spagnuolo, Raheem Morris, Jason Garrett, Lezlie Frazier, Rick Dennison.
Jay Cutler did not agree with 74% of you. When word got out that McDaniels had held three-way trade discussions with Tampa Bay and Detroit that involved sending Cutler to one of those cities and receiving Matt Cassel from New England in return, rumors were that Jay was not pleased.
...but he'd get over it, right? From MHR's article that first covered it back in the day:
I know Cutler's feathers were likely ruffled by hearing these "rumors", but the fact is, every player, on every team, is discussed at some point. It doesn't mean there were any type of negotiations, or that the Broncos didn't simply hang up on the Lions. Cutler should know the game, and fret not. He is going to be a Denver Bronco for a long time.
Clearly the thought that Cutler may not want to be in Denver was absolutely crazy. In most fans' mind, things were trending the right direction and McDaniels was going to be the guy to put Denver over the top. To lose Jay would be devastating.
The situation continued to go downhill, much to the distress of Broncos Country.
Many of you will point to something he said the other day, that he "hopes" he is the quarterback of the Broncos when the season starts. His actions say otherwise. He has talked about his relationship with the Broncos being damaged, saying that "nothing is unrecoverable", yet when the Broncos ask to meet with him he refuses. He speaks of being a leader, of playing for his teammates, yet again, his actions say otherwise. He has secluded himself away from the team, away from the complex.
Cutler put his Castle Pines house up for sale and 'sources' talked over one another declaring a relationship on the brink. Finally news broke that Cutler's wanted a trade.
So, let me get this straight. Jay Cutler's problem the entire time has been that the Broncos "misled" him. He has stated that he wanted the Broncos to come clean about any and all trade discussions. According to Cutler himself, McDaniels did that. It still isn't good enough. He still wants to be coddled, his ego massaged.
I also find it interesting, according to McDaniels anyway, that Cutler "needed to think some more" and wanted to discuss with Bus Cook on "how to proceed". A few hours later, Cutler wants to be traded. If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck and acts like a duck, well, it is a duck and Bus Cook is filled with feathers.
Then, finally, the greatest owner in all of sports relented, releasing this statement at the end of March.
"Numerous attempts to contact Jay Cutler in the last 10 days, both by Head Coach Josh McDaniels and myself, have been unsuccessful. 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."
...and within just 48 hours Jay Cutler was gone. A Chicago Bear... And Kyle Orton was headed to Denver.
The Denver Broncos have agreed to trade disgruntled quarterback Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears.
The Broncos announced the deal Thursday and said terms would be disclosed later. NFL.com's Steve Wyche reports that the Broncos will receive three draft picks (first-rounders this year and in 2010, a third-rounder this year) and quarterback Kyle Orton in exchange for Cutler.
Brock Osweiler's Exit
After the confetti was swept away and the Super Bowl revelry subsided, Broncos Country may have taken the prospect of Brock's return for granted. MHR's own Scotty Payne thought so.
As for Brock Osweiler, I think the Broncos will get something done. I will not guess on the type of contract the Broncos will offer him because it's going to be a complicated one. He's going to be asking for starter money, but only has a total of 7 starts under his belt since being drafted.
I still think the Broncos get this done, they have too. Peyton Manning is done with the Broncos (according to his father) and is likely retiring, Osweiler is a free agent, and that only leaves seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian as the only quarterback on the roster.
Sure, he'd been unceremoniously benched after delivering adequate play in relief of the injured Peyton Manning, but that's football. Brock was drafted by the Broncos and now, finally, was his chance start for the team with which he'd just helped win the Super Bowl. Everything should be good to go with him, right? Well, once again, Brock had to wait behind Peyton Manning... a wait that went on much longer than it probably should have.
Klis also reports that the Broncos are waiting for Peyton Manning to make a decision on his career before starting contract talks with Osweiler. The Broncos are doing this out of respect to Manning
As Manning was announcing his retirement, the blase, near-sure-thing that Brock was going to re-sign in Denver started to unravel. First, there were reports that the likelihood was becoming uncertain, that Brock was meeting with the Texans, that Brock liked the Texans' offense more than Gary Kubiak's, then it was rumored that the Texans were a real contender for Brock's services, and then it was stated that either the Broncos or the Texans would sign Brock. Making things look more dire was a report that the Broncos hadn't negotiated beyond their initial offer.
According to NFL Networks Rand Getlin, quarterback Brock Osweiler has agreed to sign with the Houston Texans.
...and just like that the heir apparent to Peyton Manning was gone.
Good for Brock. He did what nearly every single one of us would have done. I don't care who you are, if anybody offers you $72 million you take it.
However, it wasn't until after Brock had struck his deal with the Texans that his butthurt started to show.
I'm told Osweiler was "very distant" during negotiations. showed Broncos he didn't want to come back. Elway refused to play top 10 QB money.— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) March 9, 2016
Broncos source: "This is not a surprise. It was clear to John (Elway) last week that (Osweiler) didn’t want to be here."— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 9, 2016
Broncos figured Brock Osweiler didn't want to come back when he stopped returning phone calls to coaches/some teammates past 2 weeks. #9news— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 9, 2016
Denver got a Super Bowl championship and Brock got paid. Water under the bridge, right? Not so much... Brock rejected a once-in-hislifetime chance to meet the President of the United States with his championship teammates.
"The Broncos graciously extended an invitation for me to join them at The White House on Monday, but due to a scheduled OTA in Houston, I feel it is important to be at practice with my new teammates," Osweiler said in a statement. "It's a new offensive system for me and every practice and rep is extremely important. I am very appreciative of the Broncos wanting to include me on this special day."
Then less than a week later, Brock spurned the Broncos again by refusing to show up the Super Bowl ring ceremony.
With Brock Osweiler first skipping the Denver Broncos visit to the White House as Super Bowl champions due to his desire not to miss any practice and now sskipping the Broncos Super Bowl ring ceremony despite the Houston Texans having no team activities scheduled that day, it is clear that Osweiler has a grudge against the Broncos organization.
Personally, I think Osweiler is letting his feelings about his Week 17 benching cloud his judgement. He is skipping out on events that few NFL players ever get to experience. Like ever. That is how rare it is to be a Super Bowl champion in the NFL and Osweiler was a big part of that.
Compare and Contrast
Jay Cutler and Brock Osweiler's exits from Denver were very different. Jay's butthurt was most evident as he crow-barred his way out Denver. Brock's was lurking under the surface, but didn't become known until he went radio-silent on the Broncos before ultimately resurfacing in a Texan's hat. The fact is that both had every opportunity to play quarterback for the Denver Broncos and both decided not to because their feelings were hurt.
Who's the most butthurt?
Going into Monday's game against the Houston Texans, I have to declare the battle of butthurt between Jay Cutler and Brock Osweiler a tie. While their actions upset Broncos Country, these quarterbacks only did maximum damage to themselves.
While Cutler's exit hurt the fans, it planted the seeds of a Broncos Super Bowl Championship and landed him in a place where he is roundly disliked, if not hated. His indifferent attitude and numerous interceptions have given way to the reality that Jay may never play another snap for Chicago as the Bears continue to find success with Brian Hoyer.
Brock's decision not to join his teammates at the White House or Ring Ceremony hurt nobody but him. Can you imagine how lonely was it when it was some random FedEx driver who presented Brock with his Super Bowl ring in a cardboard box? He's separated himself from the greatest thing that's likely going to happen to him in his lifetime. For someone to be so angry that they would do that to themselves is incredible. Sure he got paid, but now there are expectations in Houston that's he's already failing to meet and, like Brock, zero Texans fans care about Brock's Super Bowl run with the Denver Broncos.