Jay Cutler of the Broncos would be a franchise quarterback for the Lions. He's 25 and threw for 4,526 yards last season. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
It's such a no-brainer, I shouldn't even waste your time on it. It's also probably a complete pipe dream, a nasty little tease, an unrealistic notion.
But what the heck, let's discuss it.
If Denver quarterback Jay Cutler is still available in trade -- and I seriously question whether he is -- Detroit absolutely should do whatever it takes to get him. I would even deal the No. 1 overall pick for him.
(Take a moment to compose yourself and call me an enormous fat hypocrite.)
Yes, I remain thoroughly opposed to using the No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback. But let me amend that: I'm opposed to using the No. 1 overall pick on an unproven college quarterback who isn't even the consensus top choice (Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, whomever).
Cutler is different. And that's why I doubt the Broncos will trade him, now that a reported deal for Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel has fallen through.
The Patriots traded Cassel to the Chiefs after a couple teams, supposedly the Lions and Buccaneers, tried to work a three-way deal to land Cutler. The Lions and Buccaneers reportedly would have acquired Cassel and shipped him to the Broncos, where former Patriots assistant Josh McDaniels is the new coach.
Cutler is really, really ticked off about it, and that's fine. In fact, it's fueling more trade rumors, although I'm guessing he'll calm down and realize he should stay in Denver.
In three seasons since the Broncos drafted him in the first round, Cutler has emerged as one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, already landing a Pro Bowl spot. Last season, with a pretty average offense, he threw for 4,526 yards and completed 62.3 percent of his passes. He did toss a few too many interceptions (18), but he's still young (25), and while he wouldn't instantly lift the Lions, he would instantly give them credibility, and give them their first young, legitimate franchise quarterback since, um, hmm, maybe forever.
I know, I know. The Lions' offensive line still needs tons of work, and the defense is putrid. But putting someone like Cutler in this offense is considerably less risky than Stafford, or even Daunte Culpepper.
The Lions need lots of things besides a quarterback, obviously. And I actually think Culpepper has a chance to be OK. But then, I thought Dan Orlovsky had a chance to be OK too, and he just bolted for Houston. The Lions have dumped two quarterbacks, Orlovsky and Jon Kitna, and are down to three -- Culpepper, Drew Stanton and Drew Henson.
The position isn't their first priority in the draft, but the quarterback position always is a priority in the NFL.
My stance hasn't changed. I wouldn't draft Stafford or Sanchez No. 1 overall.
And Cassel wasn't good enough, in my mind, to warrant the type of money he wants.
But if you're telling me a guy like Cutler is available -- and I'm still not fully believing you -- I'm putting the Broncos on speed-dial.
More Bob Wojnowski
- Wings one win away from once-implausible feat
- The time is now for Red Wings; goalie Jimmy Howard could hold key
- Red Wings hitting Blackhawks like they mean it, grab series lead
- Once-grizzled Wings proving youth is served in postseason
- After a little rest, donít count Red Wings out yet
- Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard is up for the challenge against Blackhawks
- Red Wings' steely resolve belies their youth; Blackhawks up next