Former Redskins’ VP of Football Operations, Vinny Cerrato, recently discussed the team’s pursuit of then-Broncos QB Jay Cutler back in 2009.
At the time, Denver had just hired Josh McDaniels as their new head coach and Cutler made it clear that he wanted out. Former Broncos HC Mike Shanahan was considered the favorite to land the Redskins head coaching job, so it made plenty of sense for them to explore a trade for Cutler given the time they spent together.
“Jay Cutler wanted to come,” said Cerrato, via Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. “because he figured Shanahan was coming anyhow, and so he wanted to come, too. And for the agent and everybody, it would have been a very smooth transition.”
“Josh called me and said, ‘I like Orton better than Campbell,’ and I said, ‘I can’t change Jason Campbell from Kyle Orton.’ So then Xanders calls me and says, ‘We’re going to do this deal (with Chicago),” Cerrato said of the discussions with Denver.
La Canfora reports that Redskins owner Dan Snyder was “irate” after learning that they were not getting Cutler, which he believed would impact their chances of hiring Shanahan.
Sources have told La Canfora that had Washington traded for Cutler, Shanahan would have been coerced into taking Washington job at that point rather than sitting out the 2009 season.
Washington obviously hired Shanahan a year later and wasted little in time in finding a different quarterback as they traded a 2010 second-round pick and, ultimately, a 2011 fourth-round selection in return for Eagles QB Donovan McNabb. Unfortunately for Washington, the McNabb deal was a huge failure as he lasted just a single season with the team before he was released.
It’s always interesting to hear about deals that came close to being completed as a single move like this could have changed the outcome for numerous players, coaches, executives and teams around the league.
Cutler has gone to set numerous franchise records for the Bears and appears to be a great position to continue adding more to the list under HC Marc Trestman.
There are even more details and a video interview with Cerrato in La Canfora’s article, so I highly recommend checking it out. (h/t Paul M. Banks)