Quote Chain of the Week
Jay Cutler, to Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com, Wednesday night:
"I didn't want to get traded. That wasn't me. I really didn't want this. I love Denver. I didn't want it to get this far.''
Jay Cutler, to the Chicago media, 44 hours later:
"I'm really happy to be here. It's like a dream come true.''
Quote of the Week I
"If I keep my body in shape, and do the right things, I think I have maybe 10 or 12 more years in my career.''
Quote of the Week II
"I still went and worked out. My teammates said, 'Jason, why are you here?' And I told them: 'I'm still the quarterback of this team until they get rid of me. You haven't seen the best of me. I'm not here for ownership. I won't miss days working out with you, and I won't miss time preparing for the season. Who knows? A trade may not work out.'''
Quote of the Week III
"What's in it for us? If we're going to give you two more games, two more games of wear and tear on our bodies, two more games of potential career-ending injuries, two more games of concussions, blown-out knees, elbows, whatever you want to call it, then what's the price you're willing to pay for us to give that to you?''
Mawae's not alone with his strong feelings on the topic. Wait until you read in Ten Things I Think I Think what Adalius Thomas, the longtime player rep in Baltimore who's now with the Patriots, said about the expanded schedule.
Stat of the Week
The careers of Cassel, Cutler and Orton will now forever be entwined. Denver couldn't trade for Cassel in February, which led to Cutler's wildcat strike and trade to Chicago, which led to Orton landing in Denver.
What's so compelling about the quarterback musical chairs is the huge disparity in money they'll make this year. Cassel got the franchise tag in New England, and now, even though it would seem to make sense that Kansas City would try to sign him long-term and lessen the cap burden on the team, the Chiefs are in no hurry to whittle away his one-year contract of nearly $15 million.
At the league meetings two weeks ago, I ran into Cassel's agent, David Dunn, who was trying to figure out why in the world Kansas City GM Scott Pioli wasn't eager to do a long-term deal for Cassel. Simple, I theorized; Cassel's only done it once, and if he's only marginally successful this year with Kansas City, he's not going to be a very good bargain with the $30-million or so in guaranteed money the Chiefs would have to pay him to get a deal done. And if he's great this year, the Chiefs still have the right to make him a restricted free-agent next year, whereby they'd have to pay him 110 percent of his salary this year ($16.115 million) ... which would mean they'd be committing $30.77 million to him over the next two seasons. If you're not positive about whether a quarterback's going to be a franchise guy, it's probably smarter to make him prove it again, even if that could end up costing you a little more in the long run.
If Denver sees Orton as a solid starter this year, it's likely that it will try to re-sign him sometime this year rather than let him get to free-agency. He's in the final year of a two-year contract signed with the Bears last winter.
Cutler is entering year four of a six-year deal. My guess is the Bears will let him play this year out, then sign him after the season to a rich, new deal, assuming things go well in Chicago. Analyzing what each team -- the Chiefs, Bears and Broncos -- is getting for its buck this year, based on quarterback performance from 2008 (league rankings from 2008 in parentheses):
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo is the godfather to Steve Mariucci's daughter, Brielle. The two men's friendship is why Mariucci was behind the Michigan State bench at Ford Field during Saturday's semifinal win over UConn.
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week
Stayed close to home this week. But I'm finding something interesting about city life. (For those who don't know, my wife and I moved to Boston a month ago, and we're still settling in. Enjoying it a lot so far.) From last Monday morning to Sunday night , I drove my car once, two miles to the Home Depot. That's it. I wonder if I need a car. I suppose I'll need one as time goes on, but I miss nothing about driving. Walking is good.
NFL Truth & Rumors