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April 02, 2009

Analysis: Breaking down the Cutler issue

Yesterday, we told you we didn't foresee a Panthers' trade for Denver quarterback Jay Cutler. Today, we'll break down some of the primary reasons.

Even if the Panthers were interested in trading for Cutler, which is questionable at best, there doesn't appear to be a viable way they could put together a package competitive enough to acquire him, barring some extremely unforeseen changes.

Here's why:

1) The Panthers don't have a first-round pick in this year's draft and don't pick until late in the second round (59th overall). The Broncos likely will be looking for a trade package that includes at least a first-round pick and/or a veteran quarterback much younger than Jake Delhomme, who's 34.

There are reports that Detroit might be willing to give up the No. 1 overall pick for Cutler, that Washington would be willing to deal starting quarterback Jason Campbell and that Cleveland would be willing to swap QB Brady Quinn in a deal to land Cutler. Given Denver's dire need for a new quarterback if Cutler is gone, the Panthers simply can't compete with what those other teams have to offer.

2) Carolina's primary trade currency that would be appealing to Denver is defensive end Julius Peppers. We're not at all sure the Panthers would want to swap Peppers for Cutler anyway, but they cannot do it without Peppers' cooperation. Peppers is a franchised free agent who has not signed his tender offer from the Panthers. Until he signs the tender, the Panthers can't talk to other teams about trading him.

Furthermore, Peppers has a list of four potential teams for which he would like to play and has let it be known he wouldn't want to leave Carolina for anywhere else. There is only one AFC team on the list -- New England. Though Denver plans to run a 3-4 defense, which appeals to Peppers, the Broncos have been dreary on defense in recent years and were among the league's worst last season, ranking 29th in total defense, 30th vs. the pass, 27th vs. the run and 30th in scoring defense.

The question has arisen, even in the Observer sports department: Could Peppers change course and add Denver to his list to open the door for a possible Cutler trade? Well, most anything is possible, but there are no signs of that happening and it's obvious Peppers wants to play for a team traditionally strong on defense, with good teachers who can put him in position to be at his disruptive best as a pass rusher and defensive playmaker.

Three teams either known or believed to be on his list -- New England, Philadelphia and Dallas -- have strong defensive reputations. The Eagles ranked third in total defense last season, the Cowboys eighth and the Patriots 10th. That's a far cry from Denver. Carolina, by the way, ranked 18th.

Also, Peppers has said he wants to play for a team that could compete for a Super Bowl title. It's hard to imagine Denver doing that if Cutler is gone and a new QB is brought in to play for new coach Josh McDaniels.

3) Trading for Cutler would signal the end of the Jake Delhomme era. There simply is no way the two could co-exist. They are both starters -- and the Panthers seem bullishly set on sticking with Delhomme despite significant public sentiment to the contrary.

Are they right? Time will tell. One thing is for sure, however: It certainly looks like coach John Fox and general manager Marty Hurney are so confident in Delhomme that they're willing to risk their jobs to keep him.

So as intriguing as a Cutler-to-Carolina trade is to talk about, there is little reason to think it'll become a reality.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on April 2, 2009 at 09:45 AM | Permalink


Good. We don't want or need that whiny cry baby on the Panthers anyway. Jake may not be as talented, but he is a leader and this team would suffer tremendously if it had to deal with a self centered cry baby like Cutler.

Posted by: tc | Apr 2, 2009 10:10:19 AM

I love all the talk from "fans" about trading Peppers and Delhomme to Denver for Cutler AND a draft pick. When we see what Danny Snyder gives up for Cutler, maybe those folks will realize how silly they are.

Posted by: dogear | Apr 2, 2009 10:12:10 AM

This is a stupid uniformed article. Espn has already said having a quarterback in return is not a requirement at all. I say trade pep and a future first or second.

Posted by: Gamble20 | Apr 2, 2009 10:12:42 AM

Delhomme is old and has a bad arm and poor decision making often times.

they have to plan for the future, what is other option? Ride delhomme even farther with near guaranteed worse results and take whatever you can get(not a franchise qb like Cutler) afterwards? or Matt moore?

Posted by: jp | Apr 2, 2009 10:13:32 AM

Tc you don't have any idea what you are talking about. Cutler is a leader. He's 13-1 in games under 21 points. He is a stud. I think it's unlikely this trade happens, but we do have a proven defensive players that he oters don't have.

Posted by: Gamble20 | Apr 2, 2009 10:15:30 AM

Make sure that you say that it is your opinion Chuck. Unless you have official sources that can be directly quoted, then this will seperate the truth from the disparities that would arise from this post.

Posted by: Pantherman1 | Apr 2, 2009 10:16:04 AM

Steve Smith deserves better.

We need to go after Cutler.

Posted by: Wes | Apr 2, 2009 10:18:03 AM

So everytime there was a three and out last year, Jakes' whining and finger pointing didn't bother you? Cutler is not a whiner, he gave Denver what they wanted (to trade him) and now just because its not for McDumbs protogee' (sp)Cutler is the crybaby. Don't think so, McDumb is an egotistical dumb ___ who chased his franchise QB away, without watching him throw the first football.... good job McDumba$$

Posted by: Alan W. | Apr 2, 2009 10:25:52 AM

Okay so trade a cry baby for a cry baby. Cutler for Delhomme and Peppers. We won't need Delhomme with Cutler and we're going to lose Peppers next year anyways. He get's his 3-4 we get a Cutler to Smith Combo. That is just sick can you imagine those passes!!!!

Posted by: Jeremy | Apr 2, 2009 10:26:24 AM

At first I was excited about the possibility, but after a few weeks, I realized that trading for Cutler would not make any sense. Giving up Peppers for a QB would be great if we had other viable options at the Dline, but Peppers produced 1 less sack compared to the other Dlinemen combined. The Panthers need to get picks for Peppers, and more than what Minnesota gave up for Jared Allen. Without Peppers, I guarantee our defense wouldn't be ranked as high as 18. Culter stats were also very inflated. I highly doubt he would have thrown for that many yards if Denver didn't go through 6 RBs. Cutler can be great, but he is lacking intangibles. I wouldn't mortgage the next 4 years of the franchise future for a QB who has so many question marks.

Posted by: Craig Craig | Apr 2, 2009 10:29:40 AM

Cutler to Smith plus Williams/Deanglo = our best Defense for next season, an Awesome offense.

Fox is to ignorant to do this. Chances to get a franchise QB who is 25 and alreadya pro-bowler dont' come along every day AND if Tampa gets him we'll be playing against him and Matt Ryan for the next Decade!

Posted by: jp | Apr 2, 2009 10:31:19 AM

Cutler will not wear a Panthers uniform as long as Fox and Hurney are Coach and GM. They shy away from disruptive figures, and why disrupt a team with a 12-4 record from last season.

Just watch the Redskins trade for Cutler, Snyder is prepared to pay big money for questionable character players with high ability.

Plus Jason Campbell can start in Denver no problem so they'll be happy enough, with him and Simms battling for the no 1 spot. Add in a high draft pick and the deal's done.

On the topic of Peppers it looks like this won't be resolved fully until draft day.

Posted by: Bill | Apr 2, 2009 10:41:18 AM

Thank you for sitting down and thinking before you write. Its quite refreshing. Any chance this becomes a trend, or is this a one shot deal ?

Posted by: TY | Apr 2, 2009 10:53:11 AM

Ok, they wanna keep Delhomme, we will just fire them next offseason, even though they deserved the boot years ago.

Posted by: Kylr | Apr 2, 2009 10:55:03 AM

3 way trade-Peppers and Moore to Denver, Cutler to Detroit and the #1 pick to Carolina. The Panthers draft Stafford and let him learn for the next year or two, "coexisting" with Jake. Tell me why this wouldn't work outside of Pep not wanting to play in Denver or Cutler not wanting to play in Detroit?

Posted by: gradyhog | Apr 2, 2009 10:59:42 AM

Peppers doesn't want to be here and we're never going to win a Super Bowl with Delhomme. They're also killing our salary cap. Tell them thanks and ship them to Denver. Cutler is 25 with a strong arm. All we need is someone to get #89 the ball.

Posted by: Ben | Apr 2, 2009 11:01:18 AM

12-4 is what fox and Delhomme bring us ....... I'll take it

Posted by: Me | Apr 2, 2009 11:04:20 AM

I get so tired of reading people posting that we would be trading for a cry baby. Anyway would be pissed if a new boss came in and his first move was to go behind your back and try to trade for a career back up. Everyone that has a real job would feel disrespected and look to leave, so dont forget that. And look at the traditional powerhouses, N.E., Indy. What do they have? Franchise QB's. Don't forget we won in spite of Delhomme last year, not because of him. And everyone is reading through rose-colored glasses bc Jake whines after every interception/incompletion. We will dread the day that we are facing a division with Brees/Cutler/Ryan and we are hoping Moore works out after Delhomme struggles again this yr.

Posted by: JS | Apr 2, 2009 11:05:00 AM

gradyhog, you are right on the money. I could not agree more. If anyone thinks otherwise, they have not been watching the Panthers last season, or they don't know football!!

Posted by: Roberto | Apr 2, 2009 11:13:31 AM

Whoever it was that said Peppers scored 1 less sack that the rest of the Panthers combined, did you ever stop to think that is because of the coaches putting him in that position & telling him to go for it? Everything is relevant, the year before last where was Peppers with his 2.5 sacks? Get rid of Peppers for whatever you can get cause there is nothing to say he is going to be good next year.

Posted by: MrBernz | Apr 2, 2009 11:27:43 AM

Sure,trade for a QB that had 210 more passes than Jake,but only 1000 yards more.We took them to the wood shade,30-10.Jake had 12 int.,Cutler had 18.Why trade for trouble?,that's what Cutler will be were ever he goes.He sees he can cry in the paper get his way.He'll do that ever time he wants something,Panthers or the fans don't need that trash. Moore will be as good or better one for us,this will be his 3rd year with us give man a chance to prove himself.

Posted by: tj15 | Apr 2, 2009 11:28:58 AM

This is one of the best blog entries I've seen on this site about the Panthers. FINALLY, someone stopped beating around the bush about why Cutler probably won't be coming here and laid everything out. FINALLY. Good job.

Posted by: jonathan | Apr 2, 2009 11:30:21 AM

Why hasn't Peppers signed the tender offer?????

Belichick as much as told him to do it so they could start working a trade. No one can do any negotiating until that happens.

Posted by: LR | Apr 2, 2009 11:33:50 AM

Why is there a Cutler article everyday on this site? EVERYONE knows it's NEVER going to happen. A shame to with all the young talent on the O side of the ball. It would just be common sense to have a young QB you could bring in. Instead we're going to rely on old 03 pipe dreams instead. Maybe Jake will get lucky again. Would be nice for the fans!

Posted by: Josh | Apr 2, 2009 11:37:33 AM

According to Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio, rumor is Cutler is a drunk... mix that with Type I Diabetes... not good.

We don't need another drunk QB... see Kerry Collins 10 yrs ago.

Posted by: Chris | Apr 2, 2009 11:39:43 AM

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