Somewhere, no doubt behind a closed door, New England coach Bill Belichick may be snickering.
McJaygate? When all else fails, blame it on Belichick.
According to an NFL source, the proposed trade that never materialized but nevertheless turned Broncos’ headquarters into “All My Children” didn’t go down as so many reports suggest.
The deal that would have sent Jay Cutler elsewhere and New England quarterback Matt Cassel to Denver didn’t collapse because Broncos coach Josh McDaniels entered the discussions late. Nor is it true that Belichick took a lesser deal from the Chiefs — the No. 34 overall draft pick in return for not only Cassel but linebacker Mike Vrabel — so he could stick it to his protege.
Belichick might have stuck it to McDaniels, all right. But it’s laughable to think Belichick, the NFL’s No. 1 football mind, would make a deal to spite himself.
The source, who was involved in the trade discussions, says Belichick aggressively pushed Cassel upon McDaniels from the onset. McDaniels may have allowed loyalty to cloud his judgment and entertained Belichick’s proposals far too long.
But according to the source, not one of the many trade offers that swung through Dove Valley came close to pushing the Broncos into striking a deal.
The next thing you know, the Boston Globe breaks the story heard ’round the NFL that the Broncos were discussing a Cutler-Cassel trade. And McDaniels’ coaching career is baptized with a quarterback controversy before he can run his first team through wind sprints.
In short, Belichick screwed his old assistant, but probably not deliberately (although you never know with His Hoodiness). It’s sort of funny, actually…unless you’re a Broncos fan who wishes they’d never gotten rid of Mike Shanahan, a guy who never would’ve allowed himself to be bullied by Belichick or anyone else.
However the stories got started, the fact remains that Cutler is miffed, and continues sending out signals that suggest he would prefer to play anywhere but in Denver in 2009. Another new report says Cutler skipped out on a charity event Saturday night…hours after an allegedly testy face-to-face meeting with McDaniels. And now it’s assumed that he won’t be showing up when the Broncos begin off-season activities on Monday. They’re going to have to either trade this guy or bring in Dr. Phil.