NFL Offseason Transactions Ending 03/22/09
Is Kiper Right About Jay Cutler?
Total Pro Sports – Draft guru Mel Kiper recently came out with an article on Espn saying that he did not know why everyone seems to think that Jay Cutler is this leagues next great QB. Kiper argues that Cutler was over hyped out of college because of his physical tools and is over hyped now for the same reason and compares him to Jeff George, another QB with terrific physical tools and a canon for an arm.
Is this really a fair comparison? Cutler has already been to a Pro Bowl in just his third season (second as the full time starter) and George never made it to the pro bowl after more than a decade in the league, but he also only threw eighteen interceptions once in his career and Cutler, as already done that one too. The question with Cutler, as with any “gunslinger” type of QB, does his ability to make plays that other QBs can’t over shadow the amount of turnovers he produces when trying to make the tough throw and not succeeding?
Last year Cutler’s interception percentage was 2.9, not horrible, but far from great. In fact, that is the same interception percentage put up but Tyler Thigpen of the Chiefs, who had many less weapons around him and was forced to create his own play because of it more than Cutler. That was 2.9 is higher than the 2.3 that Philip Rivers turned in on his way to leading the league in QB rating and touchdowns before getting snubbed out of the Pro Bowl for Cutler who threw for five hundred more yards and seven more interceptions.
In fact, only one QB threw more interceptions than Cutler last year, and almost every other young QB had a lower interception percentage, including but not limited to: Matt Cassel, Aaron Rodgers, Tyler Thigpen, Joe Flacco, Trent Edwards, Matt Ryan, Derek Anderson, JaMarcus Russell, Jason Campbell. But out of that group only two QBs threw more touchdowns than Cutler’s 25 (Rivers, 34, Rodgers, 28).
This is where the future of Cutler becomes a question mark. He can obviously do some great things on the football field, but he if moves teams will he be able to continue to complete 62.5 percent of his passes? Will his touchdown percentage of 4.4 be as high if he is on a team that doesn’t have as good of a receiving core and pass protection as the Broncos did last year (which is most)? And that is why Cutler needs to stop complaining that the new head couch didn’t immediately give the job of franchise savior to him and why he needs to stay and prove that he can be exactly that. Because he will most likely not find a better place to prove Mel Kiper wrong, and if he talks his way out of a good situation he just may have Kiper saying, “I told you so” and using Cutler as an example of why teams shouldn’t draft “gunslinger” QBs for the next few years.