Jay Cutler an Option for the Jets?

The biggest fallout from the trade that sent quarterback Matt Cassell from the Patriots to the Chiefs wasn't felt in New England or Kansas City. It was felt in Denver, because the Broncos tried to trade their quarterback Jay Cutler in a three-team deal to reunite Cassel with former Patriots offensive coordinator and new Broncos coach Josh McDaniels.

The Bronco offer came too late, however, and now the team is in a tough spot. They made it clear that Cutler isn't the guy they want leading the offense, and have to try and placate a headstrong player who knows that his new coach doesn't value him as much as his old coach. There's word, via Peter King of SI.com, that Cutler requested a trade after quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates left the team following Mike Shanahan's firing, which predated all the other mess, and the whole thing may be heading for a messy ending.

Many teams will be interested in Cutler, and the Jets are a good bet to be among them. They are unsettled at quarterback, have a team that's built to win in the short term and have shown a willingness to make big deals. Cutler fits their need for a quarterback with an arm that will play at the Meadowlands and there isn't a more pressing need on the team. That said, they appear to be a long shot.

With Darrell Hackney, zero games in three NFL seasons, as the only other quarterback on the roster, the Broncos would need to get  a signal caller in return for Cutler. Neither Kellen Clemens nor Brett Ratliff appear to qualify as the no-brainer starting quarterback that McDaniels and G.M. Brian Xanders could install in their first major move running the Broncs.

That would appear to be the biggest stumbling block. The 17th pick is appealing, but, in this draft, it isn't going to land you a rookie quarterback who can step right in and start. Without someone to carry the weight in the short term, McDaniels and Xanders would be feeling a lot of heat from fans who felt they ran Cutler out of town for no reason. The Jets can't provide such a weight carrier, which will likely leave them short of Cutler.

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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