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Denver puts feuding QB on trading block

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Jay Cutler has been unhappy ever since learning that new Denver coach Josh McDaniels failed to inform him about trade talks in which the Broncos showed interest in Matt Cassel.

On Tuesday, the Broncos had had enough and said they will grant Cutler his request to try to trade the franchise Pro Bowl quarterback.

Still, McDaniels had faith he could repair the strained relationship with his temperamental quarterback, if only he could get him to call him back. On Tuesday, he became convinced that just wasn’t going to happen.

“It’s shocking,” former University of Arizona linebacker Spencer Larsen said. “It didn’t seem like he was going anywhere. This is the worst-case scenario.”

Cutler skipped McDaniels’ first team meeting in mid-March and the first 2 1/2 weeks of Denver’s offseason conditioning program, forfeiting a $100,000 workout bonus.

Cutler is halfway through the six-year, $48 million contract he signed as the 11th overall pick out of Vanderbilt in the 2006 draft. He’s 17-20 as Broncos starter, but that’s misleading because of Denver’s dismal defense.

In games that the Broncos have allowed 21 points or fewer, Cutler is an impressive 13-1, and that only loss was to Green Bay in 2007 when the Packers won the coin toss and Brett Favre threw an 82-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime.

Cutler was upset when Mike Shanahan was fired as coach, and even requested that members of Shanahan’s offensive staff be retained, which didn’t happen.

At the NFL owners meetings in southern California last week, McDaniels said the team was committed to Cutler, although he said no options, including trades, were being ruled out.

With Cutler on the trading block, the Broncos are down to Chris Simms and Darrell Hackney at quarterback.


• A gun possession case against New York Giants star Plaxico Burress was adjourned Tuesday until June unless he reaches a plea agreement with prosecutors to resolve the matter sooner. Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh with an unlicensed gun he’d stuffed into his waistband at a Manhattan nightclub last year.

• Michael Vick has agreed to pay the Atlanta Falcons at least $6.5 million as part of his bankruptcy case, moving closer to cutting ties with a team that doesn’t want him back.

• Gus Cifelli, a star tackle who helped lead Notre Dame to three national championships and the Detroit Lions to the 1952 NFL title, died Thursday in Royal Oak, Mich. He was 84.

• Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy has been invited to join a White House faith-based advisory council by President Obama. Dungy had not decided whether to accept.

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