Don't get too excited about a 3 team deal involving Jay Cutler and the Browns.

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Fryingpan Sports

Don’t get too excited about a 3 team deal involving Jay Cutler and the Browns.

By Bill Smith

There is a lot of talk about the Browns being the point guard in a three way deal for Denver QB Jay Cutler. Not so fast, my friend. There are more than a couple chuck holes between Cleveland and anywhere Cutler is liable to end up.

The trade chatter has Brown’s QB Brady Quinn going to Denver, Cutler going to Detroit, Tampa, Seattle, or the Jets, and a covey of draft choices coming to the Browns. There are a covey of problems with that scenario.

  1. There is no way that Denver gives up a semi-proven QB with a pro bowl and 37 starts in the NFL over 3 seasons in exchange for Quinn and his 3 starts and 65.8 passer rating. The Broncos will want Quinn and a high draft pick (late 1 or very early 2) to make that deal.
  1. Tampa is out of the contest because they don’t have a second. They traded it to Cleveland for TE Kelvin Winslow. They would give up their 1 for Cutler but that would have to go to Denver to complete the Cutler deal.
  1. Even if Tampa’s 1 came to Cleveland, the Browns would have to give at least one of their 2 second round picks to Denver and possibly both. That would net the Browns the equivalent of a third round pick (the difference between a middle first and a middle 2nd round pick) in exchange for Quinn. That is not a deal that I would make.
  1. I hear the QB Derek Anderson fans chanting now—what about DA? In my opinion, Denver would not accept DA plus a draft choice in exchange for Cutler. I can see them only taking Quinn because he was tutored in college by Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. Weis has Patriot roots and new Bronco coach Josh McDaniel will employ a very similar offense to that of Weis.

So despite the chatter, don’t get too excited. I can’t see any way in which a three way deal could net the Browns anything close to value for Quinn because Denver would want more than Quinn in exchange for Cutler.

There is a possibility of a direct deal with Detroit or the Jets. Quinn for the Dallas pick the Lions own (#22) would make some sense as would the Quinn for the Jets 1 at #17. I am not sure either team would make that deal but the Lions might not be too excited about either rookie QB and want to use the first overall pick for an OT.

The Jets would love anybody that even looked like an NFL quality QB. A more likely deal would be made after the draft if the Jets can’t get either top rated rookie QB. They would be willing to trade a 1 in 2010 for Quinn. That would not be a good deal for the Browns because Quinn’s value would then be the equivalent of a second round pick this year.

The Jets might take Anderson with his big arm in exchange for a 2010 first round pick if they don’t get something they like in the 09 draft. Given the winds in New York in December, Anderson would be a better choice for the Jets than Quinn. The Browns and Jets might do a deal for a second this year and conditional 2nd or 3rd next year for Anderson depending on how he performs.

In any 3 team deal, if the Browns try to be the middle man, they will end up in the middle of a mess.

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 He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: Browns,Cutler,Quinn,Anderson,Broncos. NFL,football,trade,draft pick,Tampa Bay,Buccaneers,Lions,SeaHAWKS,pro bowl,Notre Dame,Weis,Jets,New York
  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 2nd, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on KC's trade for QB Cassel resulted in some unforeseen repercussions.

KC's trade for QB Cassel resulted in some unforeseen repercussions.

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Fryingpan Sports

KC’s trade for QB Cassel resulted in some unforeseen repercussions.

By Bill Smith


No one was surprised that ex-Patriot personnel guy Scott Pioli traded to get a couple of his former players to add some leadership to the Chiefs. Based on how the team played last year, it can use all the leadership Pioli can gather. When he landed QB Matt Cassel, Pioli caused ripples through the NFL.

The Lions now have some options at 1st choice:

While there are several teams that would like a QB, the Jets at 17 now look like the only one willing to spend a 1st round pick on one of the 2 top QB (Matt Stafford, Georgia and Mark Sanchez, USC).

While the majority of mock drafts have the Lions taking Stafford or Sanchez with the first pick, I am not at all sure that is a lock. I would not be surprised if the Lions took a chance and drafted an OT with the first pick then used the 22nd pick from the Cowboys to take whichever QB is left.

That would give the Lions a chance to keep their QB upright whoever that might be. It would also reduce the risk of taking a junior QB with the first pick. The history of that has not been positive. The risk and the cost of a QB at 22 would be significantly lower.

The NFL may look into the Cassel deal for insider trading:

Ex-Pat Pioli got a heck of a deal—in fact he may have gotten the steal of the century so far. The Chiefs reportedly got Cassel and LB Mike Vrabel for a second round choice. There were several teams that have reported that they would have given the Pats more than that for Cassel alone. The current rumor is that the NFL may look into the deal for the football equivalent of insider trading given the close relationship between Pioli and the Pats.

Ripples shake the Broncos:

New Denver head coach Josh McDaniels who was the OC for the Pats last year also wanted Matt Cassel. He was busy trying to pull off a three team deal that would have sent last year starter for the Broncos Jay Cutler to Tampa or another team in order to bring Cassel to Denver. When that was leaked, the Bronco fans were shocked but Cutler seemed to handle it as well as could be expected.

He was reported to have told the press that he was not shocked but very disappointed that his new coach would trade him away.

My Analysis: It was not a secret that he was very upset at the firing of former HC Mike Shanahan. The fact that McDaniels wanted to trade him has not made Cutler more comfortable in Denver. The relationship between coach and QB was already strained. Now McDaniels has to do something to fix it before the season. This was a stupid move by a rookie coach. You just don’t do something like that to a franchise quarterback and expect it not to get leaked. McDaniels has to engage brain before activating mouth.

New coach, new GM, same old Bucs:

The Bucs are still collecting QBs the way that some people collect stamps. According to reports from several sources, new Tampa Bucs GM Mark Dominik and new HC Raheem Morris made it clear they wanted Cutler. They were one of the trade partners for Denver to help the Broncos get Cassel.

My Analysis: If you have a covey of QBs, you don’t have any. The Bucs had a serviceable QB in Jeff Garcia but he was not what the new staff wanted. Do you really think Brian Griese or Josh Johnson can lead you anywhere but to a high draft choice next year? Probably not.

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 He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: Chiefs,Broncos,NFL,NFL Draft,Georgia,USC,College football,Lions,Pioli,McDaniels,Tampa Bay,Bucs,football,Griese,Johnson,Stafford,Sanchez
  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 17th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Gruden and Allen forced to walk the plank.

Gruden and Allen forced to walk the plank.

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Technorati Tags: Buccaneers,Tampa Bay,NFL,NFL Draft,Gruden,Allen,Morris,head coach,McKay

Fryingpan Sports

tGruden and Allen forced to walk the plank.

By Bill Smith

Yesterday, the Glazers who own the Buccaneers fired both GM Bruce Allen and head coach Jon “Chuckie” Gruden. Reports from Tampa indicate that both were at work yesterday and were “blindsided” by the move. Gruden becomes the second head coach with a Super Bowl win on his resume to be let go this year. Denver fired head coach Mike Shannon earlier this month.

While Gruden was shocked, perhaps he shouldn’t have been. He won his Super Bowl with the team that built and trained by his predecessor Tony Dungy and the former GM Rich McKay. Gruden was obtained by Tampa in a trade for 4 high draft choices (2 1st round and 2 2nd round) and 8 million in cash with the Raiders before the 2002 season. In 2002 Tampa went 12-4 and won the Super Bowl beating the Raiders. That got him some time. In 2008, the team was playing well and got to December with a record of 9-3. Then Tampa lost to consecutive games to Carolina, Atlanta, San Diego. After the team lost a humiliating game to the Raiders in the final game of 2008 and missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record, Gruden’s time was up. The December swoon was not unique. Gruden teams had won only 2 games in the last 3 seasons in the month of December.

Overall Gruden went 60 and 57 in his years at Tampa including playoff games. However, in the last 6 years of his stay the team made the playoffs only twice losing in the wild card game each time. So what happened?

A large part of the problem is that Gruden changed QBs faster than most men change TV channels. He got Texas QB Chris Sims in the 03 draft but didn’t like him. Simms played in a total of 5 games starting 2 in his first two years. He didn’t develop until 2005 then suffered a ruptured spleen in 2006. Gruden brought in a covey of veteran QBs including Jake Plummer who retired rather than report to the QB grinder that Tampa had become. The QB merry-go-round in 08 included Browns reject Jeff Garcia, Bronco and Bear reject Bryan Griese, and Luke McCown who has been rejected by just about every team in the league as well as Josh Johnson a 5th round draft choice out of San Diego. The starter Garcia who had a decent 2008 was allowed to become a free agent after the 08 season. After the firing of Chuckie was announced, Garcia said he would not be back in Tampa if he had to play for Gruden.

Allen joined the team in 2004. He was hired to replace GM Rich McKay who resigned due to differences with Gruden. The team lost leadership when he cut both John Lynch and Warren Sapp within days of taking the job. Allen had a lot of draft choices that never paned out. To be fair, he did draft Cadillac Williams who was outstanding until a career threatening injury ended his season in 4th game of the 2007 season.

Allen, who is the son of Hall of Fame coach George Allen, was also criticized for allowing salary cap money to go unused. Because of a lack of success of draft choices, Tampa relied heavily on free agents. That too was given as a reason the Glazers were dissatisfied with him.

Both men received contract extensions in January 08 that was supposed to carry them through the 2011 season. Problems developed between Allen and Gruden over—guess what—QBs. Gruden wanted Allen to take Trent Edwards in 2007 draft and Brady Quinn 2008 but Allen did not. Gruden reportedly wanted Allen to trade for Bret Favre in 08 but again Allen was able to prevent it and won the battle over draft choice and free agent QBs. However, both combatants lost the war.

Reportedly the Glazers had a serious disagreement with both Gruden and Allen over the future direction of the team. In that kind of spitting contest, ownership always wins. Raheem Morris is rumored to replace Gruden. Allen may also be replaced internally by Mark Dominic.

Morris was the DBs coach last year and had just promoted to defensive coordinator in December replacing long time DC Monte Kipen who will join his son Lane Kipen in Tennessee. In 04 and 05 Morris was an assistant DB coach. In 06 he had a successful season as DC for the Kansas State team. He came back to Tampa as DBs coach and in 07 he helped the team become the top pass defense team in the league. Now it looks like Morris will be the next head coach.

Mark Dominic has been with the Bucs since 1995 and has been the Director of Pro Personnel for the last 9 years. While he has spent his career in pro scouting and talent evaluation, he has very little experience in college scouting. That is very often a problem for first time GMs. In college scouting, you have to find the jewels among the late round picks. Evaluating small school players is also a problem for those that have no experience doing it.

In my opinion, Tampa made the right choice in firing Allen but not in removing Gruden. Gruden has done quite a bit without a real QB. The NFL is a QB driven league. That is particularly true in the last few years. Without a franchise quality QB, the offense sputtered.

While he came with a reputation of an offensive guru and having the ability to develop QBs, he never had a chance in Tampa. I don’t think they will have more success with Morris or anyone else they could get. They waited until several of the high profile coaching candidates had already found jobs. There were rumors that key members of the team felt many players did not like Gruden. That may be true. The position of HC is not a popularity contest. I doubt he had lost the locker room. Chuckie suffered from a lack of young talent that resulted in a long injury list almost every year. Free agents and older players tend to go down more often than young ones do.

Allen missed on several key early picks and had never really shown the ability to find the late round picks that develop into key starters. That is the difference between the good GM and the great one. Given the teams lack of success in the past few seasons, Allen had to go.

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 He has also published several novels on and edits .

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