Bronco Owner Bowlen shoots his team in the leg.
By Bill Smith
Thanks to Plaxico Burress, there is new term around the NFL. “Burress” – A verb describing shooting yourself in the leg. Yesterday, Bronco owner Pat Bowlen Burressed his own team—he announced that his was being forced to trade their starting quarterback because he clearly refuses to play for the Broncos. WHAT?
This is just one more stupid move by the Broncos in a Circus de Stupid off season that makes the Dallas Cowboys look organized.
First, as I said in my column The media has missed the point of the Cutler vs. McDaniels spitting contest Bowlen blew it firing Mike Shanahan and blew it again in hiring the 32 year old Josh McDaniels.
But what was Bowlen thinking when he authorized his newbie coach to dangle a relatively proven Jay Cutler in a deal to get the unproven Matt Cassel? Perhaps the real question is was Bowlen thinking at all? Personally I wouldn’t trade Cutler for Cassel and a first round draft choice.
Cassel has had one good year with one of the best defenses in the league and outstanding receivers like Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Cutler has single ply toilet paper for a defense, a 9th string running back and Brandon Marshall, one decent receiver with a bad case of Ocho Cinco in the head and a case of Braylon Edwards’ style dropsy in his hands.
McDaniels has indicated that he did not think the offer would get out! How stupid is that? The only escape hatch out of Stupidville for Bowlen would be if McDaniels and newbie GM Brian Xanders didn’t tell him before shopping Cutler. If that is the case, Bowlen certainly would have fired both of them. That would have solved the problem and Cutler would have come back and played for the Broncos.
But Bowlen didn’t do that. Instead, he cut Xanders off at the knees by announcing that because of the rift between Cutler and McDaniels, Cutler refuses to play for the Broncos and has forced a trade. That is perhaps the dumbest thing I have heard an owner do in years.
What Bowlen did with his statement was reduce the trade value of Cutler from two 1st round picks to a mid second round pick if he’s lucky. The teams that are interested in Cutler are going to low ball offers because it is clear that the relationship between coach and QB makes the Hundred Years War seem like a stroll through Central Park on a nice day.
Bowlen is destroying the Broncos. He has fired a competent coach in Shanahan and replaced him with a incompetent in McDaniels. He let the spitting contest between his franchise QB and head coach go WAY too long. Then folded up like a balsa wood beach chair when the QB’s agent Bus Cook called and said his client would not play again for the Broncos. Bowlen is letting the one real asset of the team go. Because of his big mouth, the team won’t begin to get a reasonable value for a young franchise QB.
Several teams have expressed public interest in Cutler and he will get traded. But the value of a disgruntled QB that refuses to play is reduced by 50 percent. Somebody better explain the basics of negotiating trades in Big boy football. He clearly doesn’t understand them.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .
My email is [email protected]