Smith Working the Phones

The Jaguars have dedicated many man hours to traveling all around the country checking out collegiate talent for April's draft and beyond. New general manager, Gene Smith has had to not only oversee the entire scouting process, but also evaluate his own team and peruse what's going on in free agency. Is there another deal in the works?

Aside from all his responsibilities, Smith is actively working with Adisa Bakari on a new contract for the new face of the Jaguars franchise, Maurice Jones-Drew. With all that going on, what's one more phone call?

The phone call that we are referring to is to the Denver Broncos. News has permeated through the nation that Denver, led by new head coach Josh McDaniels tried to deal for his former quarterback in New England, Matt Cassel. Reports say that incumbent quarterback Jay Cutler was and still is none too thrilled with the idea that Denver tried to move him, and the situation has been made worse as McDaniels hasn't been forthright with Cutler about the situation.

Although the Broncos have said publicly that they have no plans of trading Cutler, the idea of bringing him to town is certainly worth investigating if you're the Jacksonville Jaguars. With all of his running backs hurt, and a defense that couldn't keep seemingly anyone out of the end zone, Cutler threw for better than 4500 yards with 25 touchdowns. Those numbers would've destroyed any of the Jaguars franchise records for quarterbacks.

Cutler is just 25 years old, he has already been to a Pro Bowl (something a Jaguars quarterback hasn't accomplished this millennium), and he is clearly on the rise. He has one of the game's best arms and he is only going to get better.

Why would the Denver Broncos trade Cutler? First of all, they have to start from scratch, either with Cutler or without him, with a brand new offense from coach Josh McDaniels. The team and Cutler now have a rift, and it seems as if the situation is growing closer to irreparable. If the Jaguars are considering taking a quarterback with the eighth pick in the draft, and they've shown plenty of interest in both Matt Stafford and Mark Sanchez, among others, why not deal that pick for a proven commodity in Jay Cutler?

Cutler is a legitimate franchise quarterback who is playing at a high level now, and still has the prime of his career in front of him. With a signal caller like Cutler, the Jaguars rebuilding process can be accelerated rapidly. So what would the team do with David Garrard and his enormous contract? Try to deal him initially, as there are teams such as Denver (if they dealt Cutler), New York (Jets), Tampa Bay, and possibly even Detroit or Chicago that could all use a veteran stop-gap type of quarterback. It's possible that the Jaguars could receive a third or fourth-round pick for Garrard if he were willing to redo his contract. If there is no trade market for him, the team can release him without taking any cap hit, and it would be better than spending $8.5 million in salary on a quarterback who was mediocre at best in 2008.

Draft picks are usually better than players, especially high first-round draft picks, but not if that player is a young, ascending franchise quarterback. It's rare that these types of players are on the market, and if the Broncos were listening to offers a few weeks ago, they'll almost certainly still entertain some offers for their disgruntled quarterback.

This is the type of move that could turn around a franchise that's clearly headed in the wrong direction.

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