The idea is certainly mouth-watering.
The Panthers, a team with an aging quarterback in Jake Delhomme and an unproven backup with the potential to become the Panthers starting quarterback in Matt Moore, could be looking at a more realistic option in acquiring Jay Cutler from the Broncos.
I've been a major voice in keeping Delhomme as the starting quarterback for this season in Carolina, but with a couple minor stipulations.
For one, he should either match his production or exceed it this season with fewer mishaps than last season, and secondly, he needs to actively play mentor to Matt Moore should the Panthers not go after Cutler, draft a quarterback, or acquire one during free agency.
Back to Jay Cutler.
I am intrigued at the idea of somehow working on a trade to get Cutler out of Denver and in a Panthers uniform by April. That's plenty of time for the two organizations to make negotiations and come to a trade agreement.
The question is—what can the Panthers offer to acquire Cutler?
As of right now, Carolina doesn't have a first round draft pick to offer up as part of a package deal for Cutler, unless they can get Julius Peppers traded off somewhere to acquire a....Aha!
Denver has been very active in picking up some defensive talent during free agency, and the Panthers offering Peppers as a trade for Cutler could be a done deal. But there are a few snags to this scenario.
For starters, Peppers has yet to sign the franchise contract, which makes any trade negotiations impossible. If the Panthers were to work on a trade right now without Peppers having signed the contract, Peppers agent Carl Carey can file a grievance with the NFL Player's Union.
The next problem is—would Denver even want Peppers? Would he fit into their scheme, and most importantly, can they afford him?
As it stands, the Broncos signed quarterback Chris Simms to a two-year deal on Wednesday. Is coach McCoy looking at Simms as a backup quarterback, or is he looking at Simms as a possible starting quarterback?
Cutler would definitely have an immediate impact on the Panthers offense, and like Jake, he is a fiery competitor, he is talented, has a strong arm, and he's mobile.
But with a young quarterback comes inexperience and bad decisions. Something I'm not so sure would sit well with any fanbase, more specifically, the Panthers' fanbase.
While the Broncos came up short in their quest for a playoff spot, Jay Cutler's stats were typical of a young gun-slinger.
His passing stats were a respectable 384-of-616 for 4,526 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions for a 62.3 passing average. Probably half of those interceptions were the fault of Cutler.
Cutler also ran the ball 57 times for 200 yards, two touchdowns, five fumbles, and two lost fumbles. His overall quarterback rating was an 86, which is nothing to gripe about.
These statistics are the chances the Panthers would have to be willing to take, but I would say those are good odds. If you consider that the Panthers offensive line is young, talented, big, and strong, Cutler's stats should improve greatly.
I say that the announcement to not trade Cutler is only to subdue his outcry. If the Broncos discussed trading him last week, then they are still considering it this week, just not publicly.
This would be a great opportunity for Panthers general manager Marty Hurney to start trade negotiations with Broncos general manager Brian Xanders, and solve the woes of the Panthers quarterback future.
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