Jay Cutler Is a Lot Like Brett Favre

The Jets don't have a sure starter at quarterback right now, which has made them a central player in trade rumors surrounding Jay Cutler of the Denver Broncos. Cutler, who will be 26 when next season starts, has been to a Pro Bowl and is much more experienced than current Jets signal callers Kellen Clemens or Brett Ratliff. Any deal would cost the Jets a lot, however, so figuring out just how much he'll help them is crucial.

K.C. Joyner of the New York Times' Fifth Down Blog tackles that question by comparing Cutler to Brett Favre. Looking at yards per passing attempt, interceptions/near interceptions and bad decisions, and comes to the conclusion that Cutler greatly resembles the guy who was reviled over the last month of the 2008 season.

So to summarize, Cutler had better deep pass catchers and yet barely topped Favre in downfield passing. He also had more interceptions/near interceptions and made risky throws much more often.

In other words, Jets fans, if you liked what you saw out of Favre last year, Cutler’s your guy. If not, you should let New York’s management know you aren’t on board with this!

There's a lot of similarity there, similarity which would seem to make the answer an emphatic no. Based solely on statistics, however, there's also a lot of similarity between Cutler and Favre when he was Cutler's age. If the question becomes whether you'd trade for a quarterback who might mimic Favre's career trajectory, the answer becomes a lot more difficult to answer.

It might still be no, Favre was erratic, but there needs to be a deeper evaluation. That evaluation has to include the makeup of a player who has reacted badly to a coaching change and rumors that the new regime has been looking for other options at quarterback. Teams do psychological tests, ask wacky interview questions and a million other things that go beyond on-field statistic to assess potential draftees, there's no reason to treat a trade, especially one that involves a starting quarterback, any differently.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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