Monday, March 23, 2009

At long last, I'm back

Sorry for the lack of updates over the last 10 days or so. In that time the Jets have signed DE Marques Douglas, worked out a number of different players at the draft, including quarterbacks Josh Freeman and Mark Sanchez, but I've been busy with a ton of work to do.

But the main reason for my lack of updates is because it's the NCAA Tournament, and hate it or love it, it might be my favorite three weeks of the year. My Villanova Wildcats are in the sweet 16, taking on the Duke Blue Devils, the team I've hated ever since I was a little kid. I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl thinking of what a win would feel like.

Still, there is budding news, as ESPN reports the Jets are interested in Jay Cutler. Cutler rumors have floated for a couple weeks now, with the Jets casually mentioned as a darkhorse who may get involved, but it appears like the Jets are actively moving on it.

Last year, when Brett Favre was made available, I was all for getting him, and I felt it made perfect sense. It ended up coming to fruition, even if the results weren't as positive as people had hoped.

This year, I'm not as sure. At first I balked at the idea of Cutler to New York, figuring that the team did not need a gunslinging type quarterback. Cutler has typically been in high-powered offenses, but his teams haven't won. A large part of it has to do with the lack of talent around him, particularly on defense, but the lack of winning does not reflect well on him.

It will all depend on the compensation. Rich Cimini lists some of the draft ammunition that each suitor for Cutler could give here.

With the 17th, 52nd, and 76th picks in this year's draft, there isn't a ton there to give. Remember, the Jets are also giving up a 2nd-4th round pick in next year's draft for Lito Sheppard, so next year's draft has already been slightly compromised.

Still, if the Jets think Cutler is a franchise quarterback and Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff are not, they should absolutely try to get him. A ball-control offense is nice, but points win football games, and Cutler can certainly put some points on the board. He would not have many weapons to throw to, which could be a problem, and he's also threw 18 interceptions last year.

But 25 touchdowns would make him worth it. And remember, he's just entering his fourth year, a year that quarterbacks typically start to find their stride. Cutler's production in his first three years have been quite impressive, especially when compared to other young quarterbacks.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't expect Cutler to be a Jet. I doubt Denver would want to move him to the AFC, and I doubt that Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff piques their interest as a replacement. A third team, probably Eric Mangini's Cleveland Browns, would probably be needed to get a deal done.

But Mike Tannenbaum has shown that he's unafraid of making a big splash, and Cutler would definitely qualify for that. And Cutler would solve any quarterback problems, presumably for the next decade. Don't get your hopes up, but the Jets are definitely getting involved.

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