Denver Broncos  

 

Cutler doesn't attend team meeting, asks Broncos to trade him

  • By Associated Press
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Jay Cutler was a no-show for new coach Josh McDaniels' first team meeting and the start of the Denver Broncos' offseason workouts, and if he has his way, he'll never step foot in their training facility again.

"The Denver Broncos confirm that Jay Cutler has requested a trade," team spokesman Jim Saccomano told The Associated Press on Monday.

ESPN reported that Cutler, still upset that the Broncos tried to trade him for Matt Cassel last month, has formally asked for a trade through his agent, Bus Cook.

Cook, who was traveling, didn't immediately return messages left by The Associated Press on Monday. The Denver Post quoted McDaniels as saying he wanted to meet again with Cutler to try to resolve their differences.

Cutler-McDaniels
feud timeline

 
Associated Press

Dec. 30: The Broncos fire head coach
Mike Shanahan
after 14 seasons, and
QB Jay Cutler responds by saying: "I'm disappointed, I'm shocked, I'm not happy about it, I'm not pleased with it at all."

Jan. 12: The Broncos introduce New England Patriots offensive coordinator
Josh McDaniels as their new head coach.

Feb. 12: The Broncos promote Brian Xanders to general manager. He takes over the team's player personnel decisions, which were formerly made by Shanahan.

Feb. 28: Cutler's name appears in reports about trade rumors involving Patriots QB Matt Cassel. Cutler voices his displeasure to the Denver Post: "I'm upset. I mean, I'm really shocked at this point. ... I liked it here, I liked playing with these guys, but obviously they're not going to let me have that opportunity." Cassel ultimately was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs.

March 1: McDaniels says the Broncos never initiated any trade talks regarding Cutler but did listen. McDaniels tells the Denver Post: "We don't want to trade Jay. We never did. He's our quarterback."

March 3: McDaniels tells the NFL Network: "Let me be as clear as I can about this. We are not trading Jay Cutler -- period."

March 10: A conference call between Cutler, McDaniels, Xanders, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and chief operating officer Joe Ellis does little to quell tensions. The Broncos indicate the call went smoothly but won't say specifically what was discussed. A team official with knowledge of the conversation tells the Denver Post that the two sides didn't move further apart, but a source close to Cutler tells the paper that the QB came away from the conversation believing he still would be traded in the right deal.

March 12: Cutler puts his suburban Denver home up for sale. The Denver Post reports that a source close to Cutler said the QB, who also has a condo in downtown Denver, has considered selling the house for over a year. The source also said Cutler most likely will attend McDaniels' first team meeting Monday.

March 14: The Denver Post reports that the home of Cutler's parents, approximately two miles from the one the QB put on the market, also is for sale.

March 14: Cutler and McDaniels meet face-to-face but reportedly accomplish little in resolving their differences. The Broncos describe the meeting as a mild-mannered conversation, but Denver station KCNC-TV reports that the meeting didn't go well. According to the Denver Post, words were exchanged between Cutler and McDaniels.

Cutler told ESPN that he would attend every mandatory minicamp and training camp but would skip the offseason training program. Although it's voluntary, the coaches expect everyone to attend.

The Broncos' first minicamp is scheduled for April 17-19, one week before the NFL Draft.

Cutler finally met face-to-face with McDaniels on Saturday, but nothing was resolved. Both sides had agreed to regroup and continue conversations, team spokesman Patrick Smyth told The Associated Press.

But ESPN reported early Monday morning that Cutler wouldn't be at Monday's team meeting.

"I certainly went back there, expecting I'd be there (Monday), but not now," Cutler told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. "It's not mandatory. I'll attend every mandatory mini-camp and training camp, but that's it. Really, it's best for me to move on. As coach said, he needs every eye in the meeting room to be on him and not me."

On Saturday, Cutler and Cook met with McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders in what the Broncos described as mild-mannered conversations at Dove Valley.

Denver station KCNC-TV reported that the meeting didn't go well, however, and The Denver Post reported that words were exchanged between Cutler and McDaniels.

McDaniels isn't scheduled to address the media until the annual owners meeting in Dana Point, Calif., on March 22-25.

Cutler has deepened the drama by putting his 7,516-square foot home in suburban Parker on the market for $2 million. And a smaller home owned by Cutler and his parents, Jack and Sandra Cutler, two miles away, is for sale for $835,000. Cutler, however, is keeping his downtown Denver penthouse - at least for now.

On Saturday night, Cutler was a no-show at a fundraiser at Invesco Field where he was on the guest list. The Broncos said Cutler didn't attend because he didn't want to be a distraction but that he made a donation to the cause, Dani's Foundation, which raises money for research and treatment for rare forms of cancer in children.

Team owner Pat Bowlen was in attendance, but he wouldn't answer any questions and waved off a reporter.

Cutler's name was brought up a lot at that event, a roast for longtime Broncos trainer Steve Antonopulos. Former Denver offensive lineman Mark Cooper, who played in the 1980s, cracked: "Times have changed around here. Now players cry when they hear they're going to be traded."

Cutler has been unhappy since learning that McDaniels, who was New England's offensive coordinator the last three seasons, entertained the notion of trading him to Tampa Bay in a three-way swap that would have brought Cassel from the Patriots to Denver.

New England instead traded Cassel to Kansas City.

Cutler believes McDaniels, who replaced Mike Shanahan in January, misled him about those trade talks, and he has said he believes he'll be traded by draft weekend if the Broncos find the right deal.

McDaniels has said all he did was listen to the trade proposals, as he would with any player, as he tries to rebuild a Broncos team that hasn't been to the playoffs since 2005.

The Broncos have been the NFL's most active team in free agency, signing 15 players, including quarterback Chris Simms, a former starter in Tampa Bay who has thrown just two passes since having emergency surgery to remove his spleen after a game in 2006.

Simms signed for two years and $6 million, ostensibly to serve as Cutler's backup.

With his relationship with his starting quarterback strained, McDaniels wanted a face-to-face meeting once Cutler returned from his offseason home in Nashville, Tenn., so they could clear the air before the team's offseason training program kicks off Monday with his first team meeting.

If Cutler is a no-show, it will undermine McDaniels' authority and deepen the rift between the 25-year-old quarterback and the 32-year-old first-time head coach, perhaps irreparably.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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