Where does Cutler saga go from here?

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

OK, now what?


Jay Cutler and the Denver Broncos have met in person, which is what everyone wanted. And it didn't work.

The word out of Saturday's in-person meeting at the team's facility is that it wasn't as contentious as the conference call between Cutler and the team's brass last Monday. Present at the meeting were Cutler and his agent, Bus Cook, Denver coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Brian Xanders.

But the two sides appear to still be at odds.

It seems that Cutler's side doesn't have trust for the Broncos, stemming from Feb. 28 trade talks that would have sent Cutler out of town and Matt Cassel to Denver. Cutler's side insists the Broncos initiated the trade talks and the Broncos' side is firm that it is being truthful with Cutler.

That's where the rift starts and ends.

Denver sources say Cutler will not be traded. Yet, the team may be forced to trade him down the road if there isn't a resolution or even a cooling of tempers.

Will a third meeting improve the relationship? It seems that the two sides are at an impasse.
Denver's coaching staff must decide soon what it wants to do if the situation doesn't improve. If the Broncos do decide to end up shopping Cutler, it must be done fairly soon so teams that need a quarterback can discuss the situation and put together a package. The longer Denver waits to trade Cutler, if that is the end game, the less it will get in return.

It is clear Denver wants Cutler to be its quarterback, but Cutler isn't buying into it now. How will this situation resolve? Maybe both sides need to make concessions. Maybe Denver needs to make nice with Cutler. Maybe Cutler needs to forgive and forget.

This is not about who is right or who is wrong. It is about whether Cutler and McDaniels can co-exist and work together in a positive way. It's about the future. If the answer is no, both sides must figure it out soon and move on.

The Denver Post reports Cutler is likely to skip a team meeting Monday and the kickoff to the team's offseason workout program. If he doesn't show, this saga will hit a new level. Cutler will have officially missed a team function that is geared toward the 2009 season.

This drama is 15 days old, and instead of getting better it seems to be getting worse.