April 8, 2009

Catching up with football

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

Finally, I’ve got some time to talk NFL after a busy weekend and the NCAA final Monday night. I guess it’s a blessing and curse to be too inundated with hot sports stories, but these two items cannot be ignored much longer: Jay Cutler’s trade from Denver and Plaxico Burress’ exile from the Big Apple.

First off, the Cutler saga went on for far too long and seriously, ended poorly for the Broncos. Not only did it show that their new coach — who replaced a superb leader — might be a bit too green for the job after his awful handling of the Broncos Pro Bowl QB, but they gave away said QB for a below average starter and a couple of picks.

You could say that getting the two first round picks are a good thing, but now that they have Kyle Orton at the pivot, Denver pretty has to draft a new QB of the future, meaning they’ll either have to hope that Mark Sanchez falls to them, or they’ll have to use their new wealth of picks to move up and grab him. Or, they could scrap the idea of winning this season and wait for next year’s crop of young talent. This season isn’t going to be a fun on at Mile High.

Chicago, on the other hand, now has what they’ve needed for years: A competent quarterback. Paying the two picks to get him is a fair price when you consider the talent that Cutler possesses. All I can say about that is look out NFC North, the Vikings suddenly aren’t a sure shot to win it any more.

The side story out of all of this I’m looking forward to is what Brandon Marshall, he of questionable past, is going to think about his new QB. Marshall has diva receiver written all over him and thing could go very sour after Orton throws a few balls over his head.

Then there’s the curious case of Plaxico Burress. Now, if the Giants were going to release him, why not do it earlier and go after a better receiver in free agency to replace him? The timing of the whole thing is quite weird.

Did they really just have enough right now? Burress has done so much harm to his reputation – and his leg – since winning the Super Bowl two seasons ago. But nothing has really happened recently, except the start of gun trial. The Giants only hurt themselves by waiting this long and now they better hope they can make a move or two at the draft to improve their core Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Domenick Hixon.

Plax, on the other hand, will find work somewhere. He’s still a top flight receiver, but there’s now the issue if he’ll be jailed or suspended next year. It seems like he’s a perfect fit for the Bengals, who just lost T.J. Houshmanzedah.

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